Blue-tailed Mole Skink (Eumeces egregius lividus)
The rare blue-tailed mole skink is known only from scrub and sandhills habitats on Florida's Lake Wales Ridge in Polk, Osceola and Highlands Counties. Other subspecies of mole skinks occur throughout Florida, southern Georgia and southeastern Alabama, but this is the only one on the US list of Threatened species. Mole skinks reach about 5" in total length, with the tail making up slightly more than half. They feed on tiny invertebrates, especially roaches, spiders and crickets. Mole skinks spend most of their time below the surface where they "swim" through the loose scrub sand. Many species of skinks (lizards in the family Scincidae) have blue tails as juveniles, but the blue-tailed mole skink tends to retain the trait as an adult.