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Orange-Eyed Crocodile Skink (Tribolonotus Gracilis) Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Skinks

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 3.82    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 04/28/2003

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 Care Sheet Submitted By:

Flavia Guimaraes

Years Experience:

3 to 5 Years


Orange-Eyed Crocodile Skink (Tribolonotus Gracilis)

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:


Sexing and Characteristics:

Native Range:
Crocodiles Skinks come from Indonesia (Irian Jaya) and from New Guinea. Little information is found on their natural habitat, but the specimens imported from those countries were found in moist habitat ,along waterways.

Around 2 and a half inches long at birth, adults can reach 8 to 10 inches in lenght.

Males are slightly larger than females and can be distinguished by the presence of thin rows of pads on three of the rear toes, and a small square of enlarged belly scales at the location where you would expect a " belly button".

Jueniles are dark brownish black with a cream belly.Adult specimens are solid reddish brown with a startling bright orange ring around the eye. Some captive bred species have orange on the neck.

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

Although Crocodiles Skinks prefer a very wet environment, i noticed that mine(an adult female)likes also to saty on dry places. So i put in the bottom of her cage pebbles to keep it cold and put a large bowl of water for her to soak.Inside the water bowl i put 2 big sponges. Like that she has 3 types of substrates to lay on. I intend to continue observing which substrate she prefers: the dry and cold one (pebbles), the wet one (sponges) or to be soaked in the water!.

Lighting and UVB:

Some breeders suggest UVB, others say croc skink does not need UVB lights because in the wild they hide during the day and go out after sunset. Others breeders even suggest crocs are nocturnal. In my opinion crocs skinks are very shy (even in the wild) and they like to be hidden.That is why it is so difficult to see them during the day. Besides that they dont like heat so in the wild they avoid going out during the hottest hours of the day. But i dont think they are nocturnal. I ve seen my girl sleeping during the night and pretty alert during the day. I didnt put any artificial lights in my croc’s cage but ill keep an eye on her to see whether she is doing well without UVB.

Temperatures and Humidity:

Although croc skinks like a high level of humidity, they dont like hot weather. I keep my girl in my livingroom at room temperature, between 76 and 80F. When the temperature is too hot the croc skink will became lethargic and aggressive and will have difficulties to breath. The level of humidity must be high, because if you keep the cage too dry these lizards often experience shedding problems, particulary the toes and spines along the back. Thats why i keep a large bowl of water in my girl’s cage and i often see her taking a bath!

Heating and Equipment:

As i said before i dont use any equipment to keep my girl.

Caging Provided:

I have a ten gallon plastic aquarium with holes in the lid.I like the plastic aquarium because screen walls and covers provide excessive air flow and should be avoided. While they cannot climb smooth surfaces these lizards can climb(and like!) branches and rocks with ease.



Description of Diet:

I give my girl mealworms fed with cat dry food, turtle food (have insects in it) and my iguana’s salad. I used to give her crickets but i noticed she didnt eat the crickets and the crickets, when they died (natural death), their bodies decayied very quiclky, due to the high level of humidity inside the cage causing an unhealthy environment so i stopped giving her crickets.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

Yes, i give vitamins and calcium in powder to the mealworms.


I think Orange- Eyed Crocodiles Skinks (Tribolonotus Gracilis) make wonderful pets.Although they are shy, they dont bite and they dont show aggressive attitudes like Geckos.They dont have sharp claws and cannot whip their tails like Iguanas.Their only defense against predators is to freeze, or to run. Sometimes they can play dead for awhile, then suddenly they start to run like crazy so i strongly suggest to handle your lizard inside the cage or while siting on the floor. A frightened lizard may jump out of your hands and take a fatal fall if held while standing. You must also remember that the tail can break off and although it will regenerate it will never be as beautiful as the original one. I dont recommend to keep more than one male or one female per cage because they can fight mainly during breeding season.The best solution is to keep them in pairs.

Some Words on this Species:

What i like most in my girl, besides her docile character, are her appearance and size. She is gorgeous!She is a solid dark reddish brown color with a startlingly bright orange ring around the eye. When she is scared she can vocalize too, like Geckos. Another thing that i like is the fact that she does not need a huge cage and can be raised in our living room at room temperature. Crocodile Skins are know also to protect and to love their eggs and babies almost like mammals do.
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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 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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