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Name:Tribolonotus gracilis. Commonly known as the red-eyed crocodile skink, an apt name for the conspicuous color outlining their eyes and their amazing scalation that looks crocodilian in nature, giving them a very unique, even dragon-like appearance.
Recommended Enclosure Size: A juvenile or two can easily be kept in a 12x12x12 enclosure, though an adult or adult pair should be provided at least an 18x18x12 enclosure. Juveniles can coexist with their parents, and adults should only be housed alone or as a single pair. A bioactive substrate consisting of BioBedding, springtails, isopods, and leaf litter is strongly recommended for this species. Provide plenty of hiding spots for this sectrive species; a mix of leaf litter and cork bark flats (or similar items) work very well for this species. Live plants are recommended to provide additional hiding spots as well maintain humidity within the enclosure.
Temperature: Crocodile skinks enjoy cooler temperatures and should be kept at ambient temperatures between 72-76 F. A basking spot of around 85 F should be provided, but should not exceed 86 F. Despite being crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk), we recommend providing UVB light for this species. Temperature should be monitored with a digital thermometer, and the basking spot can be checked with an infrared thermometer or temperature gun. Night temperatures can safely drop down to 68 F.
Humidity: Crocodile skinks require high humidity and should be kept between 70-90%. A mixture of plants, moist substrate, and the maintenance of humid microclimate underneath hiding spots (such as cork bark) will work together to keep humidity at appropriate levels. Ambient humidity should be monitored with a digital hygrometer. Mist crocodile skinks everyday to every other day to maintain high humidity and keep the substrate from becoming too dry. A large water dish (large enough for the crocodile skink to completely submerge in) should always be provided for this species!
Size: Red-eyed crocodile hatchlings are roughly 1.5-2 inches long, with adults reaching up to 6-8 inches from head to tail.
Age: Crocodile skinks sold by Josh’s Frogs are at least 6 weeks old. This species can live up to 10-15 years in captivity.
Feeding: Crocodile skinks are insectivores. Individuals sold by Josh’s Frogs are fed a staple diet of ¼-inch crickets and dubia roaches. Mealwormsandwaxworms can occasionally be provided as treats. Adults can be fed appropriately sized crickets and dubia roaches, and may occasionally be offered small hornworms, waxworms, and butterworms. All feeder insects should be gut loaded and dusted with vitamin/mineral supplements. Feeder insects may be provided in a food dish.
Sexing: Red-eyed crocodile skinks can be sexed fairly easily as adults: males will exhibit enlarged scales at the base of the two longest toes on their hind feet.
Color/Pattern: Red-eyed crocodile skinks range from dark brown to dark gray in color. They’re named for their two most striking features: a conspicuous orange to red-orange outline around their eyes, and enlarged crocodile-like heavily keeled scales which run down their back.
Social Behavior: Adult crocodile skinks are best kept either alone or as an adult pair. Multiple males or females should not be housed together. Be aware that, though rare, a pair may not get along, and if antagonistic behaviors persist, the adult pair should be separated. Juveniles can coexist provided enough space and hiding spots, and they can even be kept in with their parents after hatching!
Breeding: During the breeding season, female red-eyed crocodile skinks will lay a single egg at a time, up to 6 eggs. Cycling is not necessary for reproduction, but increasing misting/humidity to replicate their natural wet season may help incite breeding.
Natural Range: Red-eyed crocodile skinks are found in tropical rainforests in New Guinea.
History in the Hobby: This charismatic species has slowly become more and more popular in the reptile trade due to its unique, almost dragon-like appearance. Most individuals available are wild caught, and captive bred individuals remain rarer due to difficulty breeding and the low reproductive capacity of this species.
Links of Interest:
Red-eyed crocodile skink care - Reptiles Magazine article on crocodile skink husbandry
Still not sure if red-eyed crocodile skinks from Josh's Frogs are the right pet for you? Read the reviews below and see what other customers are saying!
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Waited what feels like a lifetime for a captive bred Red eye. He is way smaller than I expected (smaller than my pinky). He is awesome, no problems with feeding and is already growing. My wife named him Cheetoe. Will always recommend JF. We plan on getting a mate when hes older!
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