Young, five-lined skinks have bright blue tails which turn brown as the lizard ages. There is a myth that "blue-tailed" lizards are venomous, but this is false.
Adults have five longitudinal yellow to white stripes. Five-lined skinks are known by mountain folk as blue-tailed scorpion or just as scorpion. Five-lined skinks have 26 to 30 scale rows at mid-body.
The five-lined skink appears in areas of crushed rock, saw dust, and/orcross-cut woods. They may be found beneath dead bark on trees. They usually seek a damp environment.
Mating occurs in May. Violent encounters occur between mates. During June, the female deports a clutch of eggs under stones or under a sizeable log. The number of eggs varies from 4 to 16. Oftenmore than 1 female will share a nesting area. Females stay until their eggs hatch and guard against intruders. Often, young remain a day or so in the nest.