Acquired: Online breeder / seller,
Bred animal myself,
Worked with pet (didn’t own)
New York, United States
Posted Nov 15, 2015
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.