Species group: Skinks
Other common names: Solomon Islands Tree Skink; Solomon Islands Skink; Monkey-Tail Skink
Scientific name: Corucia zebrata
Prehensile-Tailed Skinks are found in the Solomon Islands and parts of Asia. They are arboreal and nocturnal, and spend much of their time among high canopy rainforest trees. In the wild it is exclusively herbivorous, and feeds on a variety of leaves, flowers and fruits.
The Prehensile-Tailed Skink is the largest Skink, and is highly sought after in the pet trade. Unfortunately, the capture and export of wild-caught specimens poses a danger to its wild population, and it is recommended that potential owners seek out captive bred specimens.
Appearance / health:
The Solomon Islands Skink is the largest of the Skinks, growing to about 28 inches. They have a triangular shaped broad head with a large mouth, strong jaw, sharp teeth, and small round eyes. The body is long and slender and the legs are short with thick curved toenails for climbing and gripping. The body color is olive to dark green, with light brown to black specks. The belly area is cream to yellow to shades of green. The prehensile tail acts as a fifth limb to help in climbing and moving across tree branches.
Behavior / temperament:
Prehensile-Tailed Skinks are active from dusk to dawn. They need to hide and sleep during the day.
The best cage for the Prehensile-tailed Skink is a large rainforest terrarium with plenty of hiding places, big climbing branches, and hollow tree trunks. A large and stable water container should be provided for soaking. Misting is recommended to maintain the required humidity levels. Day temp: 79-86F; night temp: 75F; basking temp: 104F; humidity: 75%; lighting: 14 hours
Regular misting or mild rain showers for the cage, together with a large water dish is recommended to help with the high humidity requirement and the lizard’s shedding phase. Under optimum conditions and proper care, the Prehensile-Tailed Skink can live up to 25 years.
Solomon Islands Skinks are completely herbivorous. They feed on leafy greens such as collard and kale. They also eat fruits like berries, grapes, tomatoes, and cantaloupe. Frozen mixed vegetables can be part of their diet, supplemented with vitamins and minerals.
Prehensile-Tailed Skinks are livebearers. Gestation is 6-8 months, and births are single babies, rarely twins. The young Skinks are protected by their mother for some time and will remain within the family for about a year when it starts to reach sexual maturity and moves out to form their own families. Some offspring remain with a family group indefinitely.
tree climbers, great lizard, mellow, zoo education animal, fascinating endeavor
nails, incredibly sharp claws, wild reptile trade, reptile export industry, big enclosures
slow creature, skinks high heat, Daily light mistings, arm length gloves
From Kacie Bingham Sep 29 2017 7:51PM
The Largest and Perhaps Most Unique Skink
This largest of the world’s 1,600+ skink species is also among the most socially complex and exhibits some vey “un-skink-like” behaviors – all in all, keeping and breeding prehensile-tailed skinks is a fascinating endeavor. It is also an important undertaking, as they face a very uncertain future in their tiny natural range. Fortunately, captive-breeding is regular and, while they do need a good deal of space, their care is without major difficulties.
Close confinement does not work for prehensile-tailed skinks, and invariably leads to stress disorders and an early demise. Cages must be custom-built, and should provide at least 4 ½ feet of height on a 3’ x 4’ base. A reptile fogger and a moisture-holding substrate (a mix of dead leaves and peat works well) should be employed to maintain a humidity level of 65-80%. Secure arboreal retreats (hollow logs and cork bark rolls work well), stout branches, vines and a quiet locale for the cage are also essential to their welfare. Also, please understand that many individuals remain as “observe only” pets even after years in captivity; personalities differ, but their health will suffer if you persist in grabbing a reluctant animal.
Most prehensile tails have very accommodating appetites, which makes it easy to provide them with a varied, balanced diet – not often the case with lizards in general! Their diet should be comprised of a mixed salad of greens and vegetables, to which has been added a small amount (i.e. 10% by volume) of fruit. Kale, bok choy, dandelion, mustard and collard greens, beets, various beans, squash, carrots, yams, apples, figs, papaya and other seasonally available produce should be offered, with variety being a key point. Calcium and vitamin supplements are essential..
From findiviglio Nov 15 2015 5:19PM