Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink Care Info

BACKGROUND INFORMATION​

 
Scientific name: Tribolonotus gracilis
Natural Habitat: The tropical forests of New Guinea and Indonesia.
Lifespan: Average lifespan for a red-eyed croc skink is 8-10 years in captivity if cared for properly.
Appearance & Genetics: Adults are a solid, dark reddish-brown. 
 
TANK SETUP
Size: Recommended minimum tank size is 10 gallons for 1-2 adult skinks, while 3-4 can live together in a 20 gallon tank.
Temperatures: Ideal temperatures range from 75-78°F with a basking spot of 80-82°F.  Ideal night temperatures can are as low as 68ºF.
Humidity: The humidity levels in your skink's habitat should be 70% - 90%. This can be attained by misting the tank 2-3 times daily.
• Lighting: Natural light or UVB 5.0 is recommended for 12 hours per day. 
Hides: You'll want at least 2 places to hide (caves, logs, etc) for your skink.
Cohabitation (housing more than 1 skink together) is appropriate only under the right circumstances. Two adult males should never be housed together, as they will fight. Adult females that are not aggressive can usually be safely housed together, but not always. A male and female can sometimes be housed together, as long as they do not fight.
 
DIET & FEEDING
Red-eyed crocodile skinks are insectivores and prefer live insects, including small dubia roaches, crickets, silkworms, and red worms. Juveniles should be offered 3 insects daily, while adults can be fed 3 insects every other day. Make sure to gutload and calcium-dust your live insect feeders with nutrients before feeding them to your skink!

SELECTING A SKINK
When picking out a healthy skink, make sure all of its toes & toenails are intact, which indicates it has not been having trouble shedding. It should walk straight and without a limp or wobble, confirming that it does not have MBD (metabolic bone disease). It's eyes should be clean, fully open, and alert; indicates no diseases, trouble shedding, or past fights with other animals. If you are looking for a skink, make sure to browse our list of breeders.
HANDLING, TAMING & BEHAVIOR
Placing your hand in your skink's tank and letting it crawl on you is the best way to start taming your animal and getting it used to your presence. This can also be used to gauge its temperament towards you. If your skink arches its back slightly and starts to draw its head back, this is a sign of aggression or fear. When handling your skink, make sure to minimize the distance between your hands and the floor, especially if it is a hard wood or concrete floor or if you have a jumpy critter. Never close your hand around the skink! This can cause internal injuries. Also, always sanitize your hands both before and after handling your animals.
 
When transporting your skink while driving, remove it from its tank and place it in a tupperware or critter keeper with holes. Do not transport the animal inside its regular tank, as the contents can shift during transport and injure your skink. 

COMMON HEALTH ISSUES

Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) occurs when a skink does not receive enough calcium in its diet. This leads to a softening of its bones, making it easier for the skink's bones to break. Once severe enough, the damage will become permanent and the skink will have trouble walking and shedding. Make sure to gutload & dust your feeders with calcium + vitamin D3 to avoid this!
• Tail loss is a defense mechanism for red-eyed croc skinks and is somewhat common. If grabbed or if something is dropped on it or if they are feeling threatened in general, a red-eyed croc skink can drop their tail by flexing special connecting tissues that connect it to the rest of their body. Very little blood loss occurs, if any, because the blood vessels leading to the tail are constricted during this process. The tail will wiggle on its own for several minutes. If your skink drops its tail, it is very important to practice clean hygiene to prevent infection. Paper towel substrate changed daily or every other day is recommended, as well as additional feeding since the skink no longer can rely on fat deposits stored in its tail for nourishment. Its tail will grow back, but it will take time and a clean environment is needed to ensure that its stump won't become infected as the new tail grows in. The new tail will also look slightly different, but function just the same.
(Read more on red-eyed croc skink tail loss)
• Skinks are not known to carry Salmonella, as it is usually only found in aquatic animals.

 
BREEDING
*Coming soon!*
 
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