The [American] five-lined skink [Plestiodon fasciatus] is a species of lizard endemic to North America. It is one of the most common lizards in the eastern U.S. and one of the seven native species of lizards in Canada.
Other common names include blue-tailed skink [juveniles] and red-headed skink [adults]. It is technically appropriate to call it the American five-lined skink to distinguish it from the African skink Trachylepis quinquetaeniata [five-lined mabuya] or the eastern red-headed skink to distinguish it from its western relative Plestiodon skiltonianus [western skink].
The American five-lined skink is small to medium-sized, growing to about 12.5 to 21.5 centimetres [4.9 to 8.5 in] total length. Young five-lined skinks are dark brown to black with five distinctive white to yellowish stripes running along the body and a bright blue tail. The blue color fades to light blue with age, and the stripes also may slowly disappear. The dark brown color fades, too, and older individuals are often uniformly brownish.