Missouri, United States
Posted Jul 09, 2013
I can remember hours and hours of fun spent chasing and catching these little guys. Generally I would only keep them for short periods of time before releasing them back into the wild and catching more. Perhaps the thrill for me was mostly in the chase. Of course, as a kid I was much faster than I am now. Here is some information on keeping one as a pet.
Setting Up the Environment:
Put your rocks everywhere at the bottom of the vivarium. place your moss over half the rocks. Make certain that you create a hill so place layers, however not too many or it'll be too high. Cover the opposite half with sand- optional. Place pure water on the side that has sand, however not enough to overflow. Place the filter within the water and operate it the manner you want(every filter is different). Have a pleasant background - The background may be wood, moss, plants anything he can climb on. Then do it your own way and style it! Place vines or a stick across to climb on, flowers, ANYTHING. Place something for them to hide beneath because they like to dig little tunnels in the dirt, sort of a cave or something. Place things within the cage that he can climb on, they love to climb! Don't be concerned if you do not see your lizard, he's most likely hiding below the moss. however if you see him below the water that means he is trapped and he might drown, so GET HIM OUT! Skinks are fast and they are not meant to be played with. Place a lock on the cage if you've got children or if it's for your children. Avoid using high walled containers for water. Skinks can drink from standing water however they could accidentally fall in to a high walled water container and drown. A shallow dish of water can offer both shelter for the lizard to hide below, and an area for the lizard to cool down off if it desires.
Taking Care of Them:
You may want to add different skinks to the enclosure. To make certain that they get along, use skinks of the same size and species. Enclosures can have many females, however males tend to compete with each other. As a result it is best to provide new skinks a trial run to ascertain if they get along with the other skinks before moving them in for good. If the skinks and lizards fight, it's most likely a good plan to move them to separate enclosures. If your skink's tail breaks off, either because you tried to grab the skink by the tail or during a fight with another lizard, you will want to take it to the vet. Sometimes the tails can grow back by themselves without any medical intervention, provided the skink is well fed. The regrown tail can never be as long as the previous one though and it's best to avoid it if possible, because of the strain it causes the skinks. Skinks are the type of lizard to climb. If you have got a tough bottom cage that has no loose substrate you need to get you skink(s) this. It will make them more happy and less aggressive. Do not simply throw the food inside the cage, offer your lizard a precise proportion of food when feeding it. Not measuring the food may cause you lizard to over eat.
Breeding: (Never really bred mine while I had them)
Five-lined Skinks mate in the Spring and females will dig a nest under a log, stump, or rock. She will lay up to a dozen eggs, which will hatch between June and August, depending on when they were laid. Females will stay with their eggs until they hatch, she will also eat any unhatched eggs. Young Five-lined Skinks are about two inches long when born.
These little guys are also perpetually searching for a meal. Five-lined Skinks eat mostly insects, including: crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars. They also eat spiders, earthworms, snails, slugs, isopods, other lizards, and tiny mice.