When young, the common five-lined skink (Plestiodon fasciatus) has a bright blue tail and five lengthwise stripes across its black back. Adult females have similar but less distinct patterning. The blue tail coloration usually fades with age but may be retained by adult females. Adult males are dull brown and develop a widened head and a reddish-orange throat and face during the breeding period. Adults typically range 6–8 inches in length.