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Tropical Skink

Includes blue-tongued and prehensile-tailed

As pets, the most popular tropical skinks are the blue tongue and prehensiletailed species. These species are very curious animals with active tails they use for climbing. They will wrap their tails around your arm once they've adapted to you. Is a tropical skink the right companion animal for you? Yes No

Check "Yes" or "No" after reading the following statements: 1. I can accommodate a habitat requiring an electrical heat source. 2. I can feed and clean up after a tropical skink daily. 3. I can spend daily, supervised time with my skink. 4. I feel comfortable feeding live food to a tropical skink. 5. I can commit to providing proper care for a tropical skink. 6. A mature person will provide responsible and primary care for this companion animal.

If you answered "Yes" to these statements, a tropical skink may be the right choice for you! Continue reading about how to care for a tropical skink and consult with a PETCO associate to learn more. PETCO is committed to responsible companion animal care. Average Size Diet Up to 32 inches long Life Span Up to 15+ years with proper care

Blue tongue species are omnivores (both plant and animal) and eat plant-matter (60%) and insects and worms (40%); include plant-matter as listed below and gut-loaded (recently fed), crickets, mealworms, and waxworms Prehensile-tailed species are herbivores (plant-matter only), include leafy green vegetables, grated carrots, okra, peas, corn, cucumbers, bell peppers, beans, and asparagus

Feeding Housing

Feed adults every other day; juveniles daily; provide a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement once or twice a week and calcium daily Due to the varied sizes and growth rates of reptiles, and their individualized needs, we recommend you consult your qualified reptile veterinarian and a book on this species to determine it's specific housing requirements Size ­ Appropriate size and shape habitat to accommodate normal behaviors and exercise Substrate ­ Use pelleted or mulch-type; skinks may eat their substrate; if they do, switch to something they cannot eat, like paper or cage carpet, or an edible substrate Habitat ­ Thick branches for climbing; tall, dense non-toxic plants for hiding; a hiding area elevated off of the floor of the habitat is also necessary for arboreal tropical skinks; high humidity (above 70%) must be maintained in the habitat at all times Temperature ­ Temperature gradient (100° F. for the warm end and 70° F. for the cool end); recommend radiant heat; use an incandescent light or ceramic heater as primary heat source Lighting ­ Provide needed UVB rays with full spectrum fluorescent light for 10 to 12 hours a day; incandescent light is needed for basking area Water ­ Have a shallow dish of clean, chlorine-free water always available for drinking; mist habitat frequently to maintain high humidity Do not house different species of reptiles together

Recommended Supplies

Habitat with secure lid Basking log Substrate, non-toxic plants Book about tropical skinks

Humidity gauge Heat source Thermometer

Full spectrum fluorescent light Incandescent basking light Vitamin/mineral supplement

© 2004, PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc. All rights reserved. (0315)

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Tropical Skink

Includes blue-tongued and prehensile-tailed

Normal Behavior and Interaction

Most tropical skinks are semi-nocturnal and will spend a portion of daylight hours hiding Skinks are not naturally tame; significant time must be spent with them to maintain your ability to handle them; skinks have a powerful bite if highly stressed or untamed; children should only handle skinks with adult supervision Change water; remove feces daily Thoroughly clean the tank at least once a week: set tropical skink aside in a secure habitat; scrub the tank and furnishings with a 3% bleach solution; rinse thoroughly with water, removing all smell of bleach; rinse all plants with clean water; add clean substrate Trim nails at regular intervals Always wash your hands before and after touching your skink or habitat contents to help prevent Salmonella and other infectious diseases Skinks regularly shed their skin; ensure humidity of habitat is appropriate to allow proper shedding; to facilitate shedding, bathe in a large container or tub that allows the skink to immerse entire body

Habitat Maintenance

Grooming and Hygiene

Signs of a Healthy Animal

· · ·

Active and alert Healthy skin Clear eyes

· · ·

Eats regularly Clear nose and vent Body and tail are rounded and full Suggested Action Consult your exotic animal veterinarian.

Common Health Issues

Health Issue (alpha) Gastro-intestinal Disease

Symptoms or Causes Runny stools, caked or smeared stool around the vent area, and loss of appetite caused by bacterial or parasitic infection. Labored breathing, runny nose, swollen eyes. May be caused by temperatures that are too cold. Inability to absorb calcium due to insufficient UVB light. If untreated, can lead to a disorder characterized by deformities and softened bones. Swollen limbs and lethargy.

Respiratory Disease

Ensure proper lighting, water, and basking conditions. If condition persists, consult your veterinarian. Provide ample UVB lighting and consult your exotic animal veterinarian.

Metabolic Bone/Vitamin Deficiency

Red Flags

· · · ·

Weight loss or decreased appetite Swelling Bumps, sores, or abrasions on skin Paralysis of limbs or tail

· · · ·

Mucus in mouth or nose Lethargy Labored breathing Abnormal feces

If you notice any of these signs, please contact your exotic animal veterinarian.


Skinks: Identification, Care, & Breeding by Jerry G. Walls The Guide to Owning Skinks by Jerry G. Walls

Note: The information on this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the above sources or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.

2 of 2 SKU 942715 © 2004, PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc. All rights reserved. (0315)


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