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Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink [Tribolonotus Gracilis] Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Skinks

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 3.25    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 10/28/2009

Main Category:

Lizards

Sub Category:

Skinks

 Care Sheet Submitted By:

Tegu~lover <3

Years Experience:

3 to 5 Years

Species:

Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink [Tribolonotus Gracilis]

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

White-Eyed crocodile skink [Tribolonotus novaeguinae]

Sexing and Characteristics:

Red eyed crocodile skinks, are very unique Lizards that show characteristics of a baby crocodile, or alligator. They have 2 rows of fairly large "spikes". The rest of their body is covered in smaller less pronounced spikes. Their head is Very large and armored, with two horn like spines on the back of their head. They are black, or dark brown in color; They also have the signature orange rings around their eyes.

Sexing is fairly hard on this species when compared to other reptiles. Males will with a bit larger in size than females, and will have a Larger head. Males also have a row of pads [gripping pads] On their back toes.

Mostly Active During:

Night

Substrate and Water Needs:

When it comes to substrate, you want to keep a very moist environment. That being said Something that holds humidity well, and will not mold is ideal. I have found that in my cage, were i house a male and female. A mixture of medium aquarium pebbles, and Eco earth [compressed coco fibre bricks] works very well. This species of skink is also very aquatic. I’ve found that a tank with 1/3 water Is sufficient. Although you can buy large water bowls, i would suggest on sectioning off the water area with plexi-glass, and aquarium sealant. I have done this in my cage, and found it works very nicely, and looks nicer than a water bowl. Make sure you have a fairly deep pool that the skink can get in, and out of easily. I keep mine with a large aquarium pebble bottom, and a fluval mini filter.

Lighting and UVB:

Lighting has to be the most controversial topic about keeping these skinks. In my experience the skinks are only active at night, that being said they could be classified as nocturnal. I however provide a low wattage UVB light during the day for the living plants that i have in their cage. Also for the viewing pleasure.

Temperatures and Humidity:

These skinks are weird when it comes to reptiles, They love cooler environments. Mid 70’s To low 80’s Would be ideal. I keep my tank at a temperature between 78, and 82 degrees.

Like I said earlier These skinks love very humid, and wet environments. So you should have a high humidity level in your terrarium. I keep my tanks humidity at around 80%. I have taken extra steps to make maintaining humidity in my cage easier. First I went to Home depot, and purchased a pesticide mister. These misters are sold clean of pesticides. The up-side is that they hold 1-2 gallons of water, depending on what size you buy. I bought a 1 gallon mister for around 8 dollars (US). They work extremely well, and hold a TON of water. Just make sure you wash them out thoroughly after purchase. When washing your mister make sure you rinse the basin out a few times. After that Screw the cap on, and pump the mister, then run the mister for a while into the sink. This will ensure that it is clean.

The second step that i took, was going to wal-mart and buying a Winnie The Pooh room humidifier. This cost me 20 dollars [US] I then used some lengths of PVC piping, and some PVC elbows, to lead the PVC from my humidifier to my terrarium top. Fill the humidifier with water, and turn it on. Your terrarium will fill with fog. Run this for 30-40 seconds a few times a day. It will help raise humidity greatly. Along with the mister it results in perfect easy to maintain humidity.

Heating and Equipment:

As i previously said this species likes cooler environments. Were i live it rarely gets below 78 degrees in my house, and never gets above 83 degrees. That being said i use no heating for my cage, as ambient temperatures are adequate.

If your house gets below 78 degrees, i suggest you buy a low wattage heat bulb,and fixture. If your house gets above 83 degrees, i suggest you either don’t consider this species, or run your air conditioning.

Caging Provided:

When providing housing for this species keep it in mind they stress in large enclosures. A size of 10 gallons per skink is the rule. I keep my skinks in a 18 x 18 x 18 inch cubed cage, by exo-terra. I found this cage to be the best suiting, and nicest made cage for this species. I keep a pair [M/F] of these skinks. So this cage is approx. 25 gallons. So in my case it is 12.5 gallons per skink. This species Absolutely needs to be kept in pairs, or groups. Without a partner they are not as happy, and stress very easy. My cage also has Live plants, which this species [in my opinion] needs. As this species is very new to the hobby, very few of them are captive bred. So wild caught skinks will know the difference between living, and fake plants. Captive bred skinks will also require living plants, as their wild instinct has not fully faded. A plus to keeping live plants, is that they help break down waste; add humidity to your cage, and just look nicer than fake plants.

I also provide branches for climbing, and have lined the walls of my cage with Coco panels. This species climbs, swims, and burrows. Be sure to provide adequate housing.

Diet:

Carnivorous

Description of Diet:

The diet i provide my skinks with is very simple. As this species of skink is very shy they will not eat in your presence. That being said, i provide a small cup in which i can put food for them in. I feed my skinks a diet of calcium dusted worms. Meal worms, super worms,wax worms,Phoenix worms. I don’t feed crickets, or roaches; as this species rarely eats them, and most of them end up dying in my cage. Another thing is that the crickets/roaches will eat your living plants. which is not good! Just put your worms in the dish, and come back later, they should be gone. make sure the dish isn’t escapable.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

I use an on and off schedule. It consists of.

Monday:Calcium dusted worms

Wednesday: Vitamin dusted worms

Friday: no supplements

Sunday: Calcium, vitamin dust mix.

I feed mine every other day.

Maintenance:

If you keep yours in a living vivarium, with a false bottom, Not much maintenance is required. All you have to do is routine water changes, and mist the cage.

Some Words on this Species:

This species is a shy species, But they are also very interesting. They are Very eye catching, and unique. That being said they are not for beginners, and are more of an advanced species. Original setup, and purchase of necessities, will prove to be very expensive. This species is also very uncommon, finding a pair mite prove to be quite the wild goose chase.
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DISCLAIMER:
The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of RepticZone.com. It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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