It's not a scorpion,

it’s a skink. Or more precisely, it’s a Ground Skink (Scincella lateralis,) and it’s certainly not a scorpion even though that’s what most of the folks in my Grandmother’s generation called them.

The ground skink is the smallest lizard in Missouri and occurs nearly state wide, absent only from the north central and northeast parts of the state. Tom Johnson states in “The Amphibians and Reptiles of Missouri” that ground skinks don’t normally climb, mentioning trees and rocks in particular. That may be so, but this one certainly climbed the wall of my shed and was quite agile going about it. He also looks like he’s lost his tail at some point, something that happens easily apparently, and is well on his way to regenerating it.

Being small and living mostly on the ground in the leaf litter has its disadvantages. Seems like nearly everything would like to make a meal of it: other lizards, snakes, armadillos, shrews, etc. Heck, even an Eastern Bluebird was documented feeding a skink to it’s nestlings.

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