Seeing an American Five-lined Skink in Muskoka is a special sighting as they are at the northern edge of their range and fairly uncommon in Canada. To the south of us, all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico, these skinks are one of the most common lizards to be found. In Ontario however they are a protected species and the only native lizard found in the province.
There are two main populations of five-lined skinks found in Ontario. One is the “Southern Shield” population which roughly covers the southern edge of the Canadian Shield from Muskoka to Ottawa. The other and far more endangered group is the “Carolinian Population” found near the shores of Lake Huron, St. Clair and Erie.
Around my house we seem to have a healthy and happy population of these skinks. On hot sunny days I often seem them darting across the patio or zooming along walls. It is also nice to see skinks of all sizes appearing around the house, from very small ones to full sized adults, indicating that the breeding population is strong. Since they live on insects and are extremely quick and agile I am sure they are a great help in the garden.