The Red Eyed Crocodile Skink

Welcome to Gecko Geek! Today’s focus is the red eyed crocodile skink. What is it and where is it from? Can you keep a Red Eyed Crocodile Skink as a pet?

What is the Red Eyed Crocodile Skink?

Rising in popularity, the Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink is loved for its exotic appearance and unique scales. Typically found in New Guinea, the Tribolonotus gracilis lives in tropical rainforests where it can be rain-free in a humid environment.

Currently, there are eight known species of Crocodile Skink. The red-eye was discovered relatively recently in the 1990s, and whilst not much is known about them yet, it is the most popular species in captivity. 

More recently, the Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink have adapted to live around humans and densely populated areas. Whilst they are nocturnal creature, it is most happy on the forest floor, more specifically underneath the fallen debris. 

Like many other species of gecko, they have been impacted by deforestation and as a result, have had to adapt to being around people more often. They have also been moving closer and into coconut plantations, underneath the piles of coconut husks. That being said, people love these creatures with their dramatic red eye rings and armour-like scales. It’s like having your very own mini-dragon at your fingertips. 

Its name derives from its likeness to a crocodile, with its four rows of dorsal scales resembling the same pattern. It has a strong, heavy build with a brownish colouring for its scales and a yellow tinge to its underbelly. 

What is their diet?

Naturally, in New Guinea the red-eyed crocodile skink would come out to eat twice a day: once at dawn and once more at dusk. They are most active first thing in the morning and therefore, this is when they should eat. 

Their diet consists of slightly larger insects than you’d typically expect. Consisting of small insects such as crickets, red worms and silkworms, their diet largely consists of live prey to keep them happy. 

You can find their dietary needs at your local reptile or pet store, which house plenty of live insects for your reptile to feed on. 

Keeping in mind their age will impact the amount that they eat. For example, an older red-eyed crocodile skink should be fed every 48 hours. They would usually be happy with around 3 crickets with each feed. However, you can spread this out in 48 hours; it doesn’t need to be all at once. 

Younger skinks should be fed one insect every 24 hours. This is enough to sustain their development without negatively impacting their weight. 

For added nutritional benefits, dust their food with some calcium powder or vitamin D3 to help. This can be placed on top of the insects that they will be feeding on. 

Can you keep a Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink as a pet?

The red-eyed crocodile skink is a great gecko to keep as a pet. With their gorgeous red eye rings and armour-like scales, not only are they easy to care for, but also look great too. 

However, you should not handle them too frequently. If handled improperly, they will likely become very stressed which could lead to more health effects. When you do handle them, make sure you keep them low to the ground to ensure that if they do jump, they have a safe landing. As an owner, you must always wash your hands before and after handling to ensure that they don’t come into contact with bacteria that wouldn’t be good for them. 

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Blue Tongue Skink

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