Skink Caresheet

 

Background Information
Skinks are the most secretive of the lizard family. Surprisingly they're roughly 1000 species of these creatures, the majority of them being terrestrial and fossorial. Found on most continents, skinks are very slender designed, with small legs and necks compared to other lizards. They also have very smooth scales to decrease drag when burrowing underground. As a family they generally don't grow to big sizes, smaller species growing to adult sizes of roughly 3 - 5 inchs where as medium to bigger species reach from about 8 inchs in length to the biggest being 30 inches long. Skinks reproduce in varies ways some lay eggs others give birth. They often seek heavy dense areas to shelter away from predators to make their nests and stay hidden. If caught, they can drop their tails as a get away defense which like geckos grows back over time. They can be very fast and use this speed to avoid predators and catch insects which is their main food source.

Level of Experience

Beginner to Intermidiate

Habitat

Tropical Rainforests, arid regions

Life Span

Average is about 15 years of age

Active Time of Day

Diurnal for most but varies on the species

Natural Prey

Insects for most but some eat vegetation,fruit and meat

Terrestrial / Semi Arboreal / Arboreal / Aquatic / Fossorial

Terrestrial and Fossorial for the vast majority

Reproduction

Skinks vary with reproduction, some being ovoviviparous, some oviporous and others viviparous

Clutch / litter Size

clutchs vary on the species by can be anything from just 1 - 20 / litter sizes are similar 5 - 20 babies at a time

Breeding Weights / Length / Age

Varies on the species of skink

Brumation Time

2 months

Brumation Temperature

Varies on the continent the species of skink comes from

Gestation Time

50 days - 8 months depending on the species

Incubation Time / Temperature

Skink eggs hatch quite quickly anything from 25-70 days

 


Captive Requirements and Welfare
Skinks due to their secreative nature need a lot of hiding areas to feel secure. They are faily active so do need a fair sized vivarium but not as big for more active lizards like agamids. In general skinks aren't they greatest lovers of being handled, they prefer to be left to their own devices, they do though make great displays when active and some species such as the fire skink come in great colours and patterning. On a plus note since skinks don't get very big the majority don't need a large enclosure. UV is always important with skinks although not as critical as say agamids but some species like to bask in the sun which would in the wild give them the chance to utilise what they can of the UVB rays from the sun.

Vivarium size

Varies on the species and what habitat its from as to whether it is better to have a wooden or glass made vivarium

Daytime Temperature (cool – warm)

Most skinks like temperate temperatures but they're some species that come from hotter regions

Night-time Temperature

A natural drop of about 5 'C will suit most species of skink but research first to be sure

Heating Equipment (on timer)

Varies on where the species of skink derives from

Substrate

Varies on the species. Skinks live in all kinds of habitats therefore research must be done to ensure the skink gets what it needs

Hides

Plenty of them due to their secreative nature.

Decor

Lots of fake plants make these skinks feel more secure

Water

Fresh water will likely need to be provided daily as due to their frequent bathing the bowl gets muddy very quickly.

Food (Feeding)

Small sized hoppers / crickets or mealworms every other day then increase as they grow. Waxworms as an occasional treat to vary the diet.

Cleaning

Spot every other day,full clean monthly