It's a skink! Woohoo! I've never seen one before. I had no idea what this thing was...but thanks to the knowledgeable people at eNature, I'll always seem highly intelligent to my kids. ;) At first I thought it was a salamander, or maybe a gecko, or just plain ugly. Nope, it's a skink--you can tell by the slender claws, just like a lizard.
(Disclaimer: my lizard lovers didn't inherit their outdoor zeal from me. I spent my childhood reading, writing, violining and letting the other kids handle these villians.)
I didn't take this picture; if I did, it would have looked exactly like what you see now. This particular beast is a broadheaded skink which resides among the leaves on the forest floor, but hangs out on the tree tops while waiting to gulp down insects and wasp delicacies. Who knew?
Our lonely skink lost it's way to somewhere because it took an unfortunate detour to our front porch. Lucky for the skink, the dog was playing in the neighbor's creek at the time.
The kids are sad that I wouldn't let them keep this skink as another pet. Tomorrow they plan on scouting out another skink, in hopes that I'll let them raise a skink family. Don't you think it's time to divert their attention with some new fish for the tank? Off to Petsmart in the morning...