Prehensile Tailed skink (Monkey Tailed Skink)

  • Scientific name:Corucia zebrata
  • Size:baby
  • Breeding season:all year around
  • CITES:none

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The Solomon Islands skink (Corucia zebrata), also known as prehensile-tailed skink, monkey-tailed skink, giant skink, zebra skink, and monkey skink, is an arboreal species of skink endemic to the Solomon Islands archipelago. It is the largest known extant species of skink.

The Solomon Islands skink is represented in both public and private collections. The Philadelphia Zoo has bred these skinks over multiple generations for the past 40 years. The keeping of the Solomon Islands skink in captivity is not without its challenges: as it is a large arboreal tropical animal. It requires a large arboreal enclosure, with a constant temperature between 75–80 degrees Fahrenheit, with heat being provided from above as well as below, allowing the skink to bask in the heat from above as it would during dusk, while providing a radiant heat from below to aid digestion. The dynamics of the skink’s circulus means that not all groups do well when new animals are introduced. Despite successful breeding programs, their somewhat unusual nature of single births and slow growth has made these programs challenging. A well-cared for monkey-tailed skink can live twenty-five to thirty years. A well-balanced diet consisting primarily of kale, green beans, and cooked sweet potato, supplemented with slices of peeled kiwi fruit, apple, and papaya, as well as access to a large shallow, clean water source aid in increasing longevity. Bathing them in shallow lukewarm water during the beginning of the monthly shed, greatly reduces the stress inherent in shedding, as well as speeds the process.

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