Nonnatives - Many-lined Grass Skink

Many-lined Grass Skink - Mabuya multifasciata


Florida's Exotic Wildlife. Species detail.

First year: 1990

Extirpated year:

Established status: Populations are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or more consecutive years.

Estimated Florida range: 1 county  At least 10 years

Statewide trend: Unknown status

Many-lined Grass Skink
Photograph by Kevin M. Enge © 2003

Threats to natives: Unknown, but could compete for food with native lizard species and is capable of consuming small vertebrates.

Species Account: This species is native to Southeast Asia, where it is typically found in open sunny spaces, especially disturbed areas (e.g., clearings around villages), forest edges, and riverbeds. Individuals hide in heaps of vegetation, under logs, in tree holes close to the ground, and under loose bark (Auffenberg and Auffenberg 1991). It is a diurnal, terrestrial lizard with a large, robust body that is bronze-brown with a wide dark brown stripe and a series of white spots or streaks along the sides. There is a pale dorsolateral line, and the belly is cream colored. The lower eyelid is scaly, and the dorsal scales have three, rarely five, keels. Breeding males have a wide orange or reddish orange stripe on their sides (Das 2002). The average snout-vent length for both sexes is 90 mm (3.5 in). It primarily eats termites, grasshoppers, and beetles (Auffenberg and Auffenberg, 1991), but it will also eat ripe fruit (Meshaka et al. 2004). It gives birth to 2-10 live young (Das 2002). At the Kampong in Coconut Grove, Florida, individuals are most frequently observed foraging or basking on cement walkways or in leaf litter adjacent to piles of mulch and branches (Meshaka 1999). This species is apparently restricted to this small (4 ha) botanical garden and the immediate vicinity (Meshaka 1999). Meshaka (1999) suspected this population originated from the pet trade, which purportedly imports large numbers, primarily from Vietnam.

Habitats: Low density suburban development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small towns

County First Year Extirpated Year Breeding status Notes
DADE 1990


At least 10 years Coconut Grove (Meshaka 1999)


Auffenberg, W., and T. Auffenberg. 1988. Resource partitioning in a community of Philippine skinks (Sauria: Scincidae). Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological Sciences 32:151-219.

Das, I. 2002. A photographic guide to snakes and other reptiles of India. Ralph Curtis Books, Sanibel Island, Florida. 144pp.

Meshaka, W. E., Jr. 1999. The herpetofauna of the Kampong. Florida Scientist 62:153-157.

Meshaka, W. E., Jr., B. P. Butterfield, and J. B. Hauge. 2004. The exotic amphibians and reptiles of Florida. Krieger, Melbourne, Florida. 166pp.

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