Species group: Skinks
Other common names: African Fire Skink; True Fire Skink; Togo Fire Skink; Fernando’s Fire Skink; Firesided Skink; Prachtskink; Feuerskink
Scientific name: Lepidothyris fernandi
The Fire Skink is a colorful skink which is native to rainforests of Central and Western Africa. They burrow into dark and moist soil and feed on worms, crickets, ants and other small insects.
In captivity, Fire Skinks would rather burrow and hide than be handled, but with regular interaction, they can be tamed and become friendly. When threatened or distressed, they display aggressive behavior by arching the back and biting.
Appearance / health:
Fire Skinks grow to about 14 inches in length. They have smooth scales. Their body color is gold with red, white, and black markings or “fire patterns” on the sides. The throat is black and white, and the tail is black with white specks.
The best cage for a Fire Skink is a medium to large woodland terrarium with substrate composed of soil, mulch, sphagnum, or coconut humus. It should be slightly moist and at least 4 inches deep to allow burrowing. Because Fire Skinks like to hide, abundant hiding places must be provided, such as pieces of wood or cork, natural or fake plants, roots, branches, or flat stone slabs. A water dish is also required for drinking and soaking. Day temp: 82-90F; night temp: 64-71F; basking temp: 104F; humidity: 50-70%; lighting: 12-14 hours, UV radiation required.
Humidity is essential for the Fire Skink, both in the atmosphere and in the substrate. A water bowl that is refreshed regularly is essential for drinking, bathing, and to help manage humidity. They are best kept as a pair or as a group with only one male because males are territorial. Under optimum care and conditions, lifespan averages 15 years.
Fire Skinks are carnivorous, feeding on insects (crickets, locusts), mealworms, silkworms, small rodents, and other lizards. On occasion, the will eat eggs, fruit, and vegetables. But because they are non-active predators, they prefer live food. Gut-loaded and mineral-dusted crickets are recommended.
Females lay eggs in nesting boxes. The average clutch is 5-9 eggs, which hatches in 40-60 days.
wonderful pet, beautiful oranges
bites, shy temperament, pretty mean, hiding
mealy worms, small sized tank, chemicalfree bark mulch, large gutloaded crickets
The Fire, It Burns!!!
It was once very long ago that I happened into a local pet store that is sadly no longer open (I need my exotic fix) for legitimate reasons (she had a baby) but none the less a disappointment to a very young me.
It was in that store I purchased a fire skink, one with beautiful oranges and reds, on whose colors played with my imagination and beckoned me to empty my wallet in a mad dash to secure literally everything I would need to house the lizard on its own amongst an seemingly endless sea of reptiles, amphibians, snakes and spiders. Oh, and let's not forget the turtles I had, that right, I am talking about spike and red (I know, very creative names) I miss having you guys around you know. I remember this being one of my first experiences with owning a tank filled with a sand and bark mixture, and I would have to say that it would be advisable to ask what substrate would be best (I was going through this weird decorative phase) and I normally advise against any sand based substrate as I have heard of bad experiences, though never personally had one.
This lizard kept my writing desk ample company for a good 4 maybe 5 years and was always a joy to look at. I do advise limiting your interaction to just looking as they have rather sharp claws and also are extremely shy. Oddly enough, when feeding time rolls around, they trade in their shy temperament for a more dominant one and will greedily defend their food at all costs. So yes, they are extremely easy to feed, and you will not have to worry about fasting spells with them.
You will also not need to worry about another drab and boring color pattern, as they poses some of the most breath taking coats of color available in the trade.
So what does this all boil down too? Is this something I would recommend owning? Yes, and one that I would suggest has a great ability to lighten up an otherwise dull room in the house. They may not be exactly handle friendly, but sometimes, we buy pets for their beauty and respect the fact that they are not meant to be touched. That is truly an expression of adhering to the call of the wild, and, it is a call I suggest you answer dear reader..
From ManoftheNorth Apr 18 2014 11:47AM
Amazing Colors and Fascinating Behaviors
Standing out among the 1,600+ members of the world’s largest lizard family is not easy, but this Central African beauty does so admirably! As fire skinks are both hardy and relatively-unstudied, both novice keepers and well-experienced breeders will find much of interest…even after a lifetime of working with rare reptiles in zoos, they remain one of my favorites.
Active and high strung, especially if kept in cramped quarters, fire skinks do need a bit of space - 55 gallon terrarium for a single adult, or a 75 for a pair - they are well-worth any trouble you might expend on their behalf. Most resist handling, and their “stiff” bodies and glossy, almost slippery scales, render them easy to drop. But gorgeous coloration and an array of fascinating behaviors render them wonderful animals to observe.
Their temperature needs – a range of 78-85 with a basking site of 95 F – are easily met, and humidity should be kept high, but with dry basking sites available. Most appreciate a thick cypress mulch substrate in which to burrow, but they bask regularly and feed by day. UVB exposure is essential.
A wide variety of insects supplemented with powdered calcium and vitamins are essential to your pet’s well-being. Roaches and, oddly for a lizard, earthworms, are particular favorites. Canned snails, crickets, silkworms, hornworms, locusts and other commercially-available insects should also be supplied; crickets and mealworms alone, even if supplemented, will not supply adequate nutrition long-term. Some individuals will accept bits of ripe fruit and nectar mixes designed for crested and day geckos..
From findiviglio Nov 15 2015 3:05PM