Shingleback Skink

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Species group:

Other common names: Pinecone Lizard; Stumpy-tailed Lizard; Bobtail Lizard, Bog-eye Lizard, Sleepy Lizard; Two-Headed Skink

Scientific name: Tiliqua rugosus or Trachysaurus rugosus

The basics:
Shingleback Skinks are found in the desert grasslands and dunes of Southern Australia.

Appearance / health:
The Shingleback Skink is named after its keeled, protruding, wrinkled scales on bony plates making it look like it’s wearing an armor of roof shingles. This Skink is one of the larger species with a pyramidal head and a stumpy tail resembling the head. The similarity of the head and tail is meant to confuse predators. The mid-section is elongated, thick, and flattened. The clawed toes are short. The body color ranges from cream to gray to rust to black, having light yellow spots or cross bands. Males have bigger and wider heads as well as longer and more pointed tails.

Behavior / temperament:
Shinglebacks may be slow and lethargic, but can run quickly when alarmed. A threatened Shingleback Skink will arch its body, open its mouth, hiss, display its blue tongue, and bite hard. They are diurnal, actively hunting in the heat of mid-day, and hiding away inside hollow logs or under fallen leaves at night.

The Shingleback Skink is best kept in a savannah terrarium with 3-4 inches of substrate, preferably mimicking their native habitat of sand or loam covered with bark and fallen leaves. The cage should have plenty of hiding places under stable piles of flat stones as well as climbing branches, roots, and driftwood. Plants in pots are also recommended to simulate their native grasslands. Day temp: 71-86F; night temp: 64-86F; basking temp: 95-104F; humidity: 60%; lighting: 12-14 hours, UV radiation required.

Shinglebacks are best kept in an indoor cage where temperature and humidity can be controlled, but putting them in an outdoor enclosure is also recommended for areas that have weather conditions close to the lizards’ natural habitat. Indoors, good ventilation is important to keep the environment dry.

Like many other large lizards, Shinglebacks are omnivorous, eating insects and snails, as well as wildflowers and berries. In captivity, they can be fed crickets, beetles, and baby rodents, soft fruit, and chopped greens and vegetables. Mineral-dusted food is recommended.

Shingleback Skinks are live bearing. Males and females usually form long-term monogamous bonds, mating in September and giving birth to one to three young between December and April. Babies are born in a placenta, which they eat after emerging. Males are protective of the newborn for a period of time.


temperament, longterm pair bonds, fantastic pet, novice keepers


bok choy, collard greens, basking site, LaidBack Large

Shingleback Skink Health Tip

Shingleback Skink

From findiviglio Nov 15 2015 5:38PM


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