- Short limbs.
Comparatively short tail, about 1 1/4 times the head-body length.
- Dorsal ground color is brown.
Dorsal pattern consists of a dark dorsolateral line from the neck onto the tail bordered on each side by a lighter pigment.
Ventral surface is light and unmarked.
Males have orange coloration on head during breeding season.
Plestiodon septentrionalis reaches adult size at 12.5-20 cm (5-8 in) total length.
In North America, Plestiodon septentrionalis has a narrow range from Kansas to Texas.
This diurnal skink species is wary and retreats at the first sign of danger. This species forages for insects and spiders and is most active just prior to sunrise
Breeding takes place in early summer. Females lay up to 18 eggs. Hatchlings have bright blue tails.
Plestiodon septentrionalis is often observed in moist environments among rocks, leaf litter, or other debris.
The prairie skink is not a protected species in Texas and can be legally collected with a hunting license.
The single subspecies of Plestiodon septentrionalis found in Texas, P. s. obtusirostris, is found in the eastern third of the state, save the southeastern corner.
The North American skinks (north of Mexico) previously placed in the genus Eumeces are now restricted to the genus Plestiodon (Brandley et al. 2005, Systematic Biology 54:373-390).