Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Somma, L. A. 1991. Eumeces septentrionalis (Prairie Skink): Piscivory. Herpetological Review 22(2):58-59.


The prairie skink is a North American lizard characterized by a diet that is primarily insectivorous (Breckenridge 1943. Amer. MidI. Nat. 29:591-606). Fish have not been previously recorded as a food item (reviewed in Somma and Cochran 1989. Great Basin Nat. 49:525-534). On 3 June 1990 between 0930 and 1030 h, six Eumeces septentrionalis (three gravid females, one male, and two juveniles) were captured from amongst riprap and beneath stone slabs on the earthen dam forming the windward shoreline of Burchard lake, Pawnee Co., Nebraska (T.12N., R.10E., Sec. 4). The three females and one juvenile were placed in the same collecting bag. Within ca. 1 h a large fecal pellet was found in the bag. It contained the remains of a small fish (probably a cyprinid), represented by numerous small (ca. 2 mm diam), cycloid scales, two fin rays, and one partially digested amphicoelous vertebra. It was not possible to determine which lizard excreted the pellet.