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  • Blue Tail Skink Lizard - Cryptoblepharus egeriae
  • Blue Tail Skink Lizard - Cryptoblepharus egeriae

Blue Tail Skink Lizard - Cryptoblepharus egeriae

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The Blue-tailed Skink (Cryptoblepharus egeriae) is a skink native to Australia's Christmas Island and is not closely related to the Plestiodon skinks of North America, whose juveniles are known for their blue tails. It is relatively small with a black body with yellow stripes going to a bright blue tail. Blue-tailed skinks are usually about 4 to 8 centimeters long. When they become frightened they have the ability to pop their tail off and it will continue to wiggle and distract their predator while they run away. When young they have a dark black body with bright yellow stripes leading from the back of the neck down to the meeting of the bright blue tail. As the juvenile males age, they lose their yellowish stripes and their back starts to become a brownish black color, and they begin to grow a reddish color underneath the neck during the mating seasons. Females usually keep their blue tail for their whole life, though. It is thought that the bright coloring on the tail is intended to direct the predator's attention to it, instead of the vulnerable body. The combination of electric blue tail with black body and three longitudinal yellow body stripes in a common pattern found in skinks, lacertids and other lizardsaround the world. It is possible that the stripes are intended to direct the eye of the predator towards the bright tail, thereby deflecting an attack away from the vulnerable lizard body. In New Guinea the blue-tailed skink exhibits sexual dichromatism, the females are brightly marked with blue tails while male blue-tailed skinks are usually light brown with indistinct stripes and a brown tail. These highly visible diurnal skinks are commonly observed on low vegetation and low on tree trunks, flicking their long tails.