6308 Monona dr, Monona WI 53513
RED EYED CROCODILE SKINK Caresheet
Common Name: Red eyed crocodile skink
Scientific Name: Tribolonotus gracilis
Origin: New Guinea
Lifespan: 10 years, max unknown
You will find many ways on the internet, on "how to" take care of this animal. This care sheet is showing the way we found works best for us from our many years of experience of breeding and caring for this species.
Red eyed croc skinks come from moist, cool places in New Guinea. They are not huge climbers but will climb low lying branches and decor. Floor space is more important than height in your skink's enclosure. We recommend at least 30" x 12" tank or a 18" x 18". Exo Terra's Small or Zilla's 20 long critter cage fit the bill. Croc skinks do best when kept singly or in pairs of a one male and one female. Males kept together will fight. Females kept together become defensive and territorial.
Croc skinks prefer a very high humidity level, and we suggest the use of Zoo Med eco earth or Zilla jungle mix base with New Zealand spaghnum moss covering on top of it. Both of these hold moisture very well and will help in increasing humidity. Providing lots of hiding spots, low lying foliage cover, and some taller foliage will enable your skinks to feel comfortable coming out. They like it if there is always a safe place close by to duck into. Some ideas are the Exo terra rock hides, Exo terra fern, and the Exo terra hanging plants. A live planted tank also works very well.
LIGHTING & TEMPERATURES
Croc skinks like coolish temperatures. However, like all reptiles, they are dependent on thermoregulation to control their body temperature. So you still want to provide a hot and a cool side to your enclosure. All the heat elements should be on one side and the other will be the cool side. The warm side temp should not be higher than 82 degrees. The easiest way to increase the heat in your enclosure is with a Exo terra or Zoo Med heat pad placed on the outside underneath the enclosure. The rest of the enclosure can be in the 72-75 degree range. At night, temps can drop to as low as 70 degrees. Use a good quality temperature gauge, like Zoo Meds digital temp gauge or Exo Terras Thermometer. We recommend using Exo Terras LED lights to illuminate your enclosure without adding any additional heat.
Croc skinks are nocturnal, so they do not need UVB lighting.
Always provide a nice sized water dish with fresh water. However, you don't want it too deep. Exo Terra bowls or Flukers rock dish are nice naturalistic non-porous water bowls. You might have to change the water everyday if your lizard likes kick bedding into it. Scrub the bowl at least once a week to keep bacteria slime from building up. You can also make your enclosure half land and half water, since they are quite aquatic.
Croc skinks live in high humidity in the wild. They thrive in 80-95% humidity. This can be hard to maintain with a full screen top. If you are having a difficult time, you can put a towel or piece of plexiglass over part of the screen to help raise the humidity. Make sure there is still some ventilation for fresh air.
Misting the enclosure several times a day will usually provide a decent amount of moisture, but a nice humidity gauge can help you in this area. Hand misters can work, but if you don't care to remember to mist, an automatic mister like the Exo Terra monsoon or Zoo Med fogger are nice options.
Croc skinks are mostly insect eaters. All sorts of feeder bugs are usually accepted. Adults can occasionally be feed pinky mice as well. If using worms, put them in a small worm dish like Exo terras worm dish. This prevents them from burrowing into the substrate before they are eaten by the skinks. Make sure to supplement your crocs skinks food at least every other feeding with calcium such as Zoo Med calcium with D3.
Croc skinks are not big on being handled. When held, they will usually be stiff and quiet in your hand--which usually means they're not very happy and are just waiting for their chance to bolt back to safety. You can hold them some, but frequent handling is not recommended. If you provide the correct environment they can be quite active, even coming out some during the daylight hours (especially if you feed at around the same time every day).