Coal Skink Plestiodon anthracinus (Baird, 1850)Endangered (MD)  -  S1 (Highly state rare)  -  Vulnerable  -  Western MD only    Synonyms: Northern Coal Skink.
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Chordata   >   Class Reptilia   >   Order Squamata   >   Family Scincidae   >   Genus Plestiodon   


Coal Skink (Plestiodon anthracinus) occurs rarely on ridges and mountains of western Maryland. This lizard appears to prefer wooded slopes with high humidity, natural springs, and rocky outcroppings near water. In Maryland, Coal Skink is restricted to Allegany and Garrett Counties. The species as a whole has a curiously disjunct range, with the northern subspecies occurring primarily in highlands from New York to the central Appalachians. The southern form is found in patches west of the Mississippi R., and along portions of the gulf coast of the deep south (Conant & Collins, 1998; Maryland DNR site). Coal skink is endangered in Maryland, ranked as S1 (highly state rare), and considered vulnerable.


This skink shows four pale lines along the body, extending onto the basal portion of the tail. It lacks a pale dorsal line shown by related skinks in Maryland. On the chin, Coal shows a single postmental scale (two postmentals on related species in Maryland). Coal Skink also lacks prominent stripes on the face (Conant & Collins, 1998).

There are 7 records in the project database.

View taxon at iNaturalist

View taxon at NatureServe

Search Google Images

Search MBP Facebook posts (beta | requires login)

[View seasonality details]
A highly state rare Coal Skink found in Allegany Co., Maryland (4/25/2013). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Coal Skink found in Allegany Co., Maryland (4/25/2013). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A male Coal Skink from Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana (March, 2011). Photo by Troy Hibbitts. (MBP list)

A subadult Coal Skink from Rockingham Co., Virginia (June, 2008). Photo by Troy Hibbitts. (MBP list)

View All Images

Use of images featured on Maryland Biodiversity Project is only permitted with express permission of the photographer.