Red Eye Crocodile Skink Care Guide
The Species: Red Eye Crocodile Skinks (Tribolonotus gracilis) also known as Red-eyed Crocodile Skinks are small lizards who get their name after the red rings surrounding their eyes. Uncommon within the pet trade, unfortunately these animals are usually wild caught, they do not enjoy being handled a lot compared to other lizards within the pet trade who can tolerate it better. Native to New Guinea, these lovely little lizards primarily reside in tropical rainforests. Although often solitary, they can cohabitate as long as they are given a large enough enclosure but should only be housed in pairs consisting of one male and one female.
Enclosure: These lizards are terrestrial and should be housed inside a glass terrarium. An ideal size enclosure for one is 45x45x45cm however for a pair an enclosure of 45x60x45cm is suitable.
Being a tropical species, these animals need suitable substrate made from soil. Recommended substrates are ProRep Bio Life Forest or Arcadia Earth Mix however other alternatives work as well. Arid substrates, newspaper, Reptile Carpet, paper towels are considered unacceptable substrates to use.
Various decor and apparatus should be included to provide as natural of an enclosure as possible. Woods, rocks, caves are all suitable to use for this species along with a large bowl for water.
Heating: These animals should be kept at a temperature range of 24-28 degrees celsius (75-82 degrees farenheight). They should be provided with a hot and cool end and with a basking spot to reach peak temperatures. Heating should be provided by a heat lamp on a thermostat with a cage guarding the lamp to prevent the animal from burning themselves, all heating should be on a 12 hour cycle, turning off at night to provide a natural drop in temperature.
We do not recommend using heat mats for these animals as they do not reach the temperatures required as easily. Suitable bulbs are ceramic, true infra red or white/yellow light bulbs however any bulb producing a red light should not be used as they can cause the animals to go blind after extended usage.
Lighting: Like most reptiles, Red Eye Crocodile Skinks require UVB lighting to prevent them from getting MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease). They don't need high levels of UVB however it is important that they do receive it. This lighting should cover approximately 3/4 of the enclosure to ensure that the animal receives adequate levels of UVB as much as possible. These lizards should have a minimum of 6% and a maximum of 12% UVB bulb and they should be replaced every 6-12 months to ensure that the UVB doesn't run out within the bulb. All lighting should be on a 12 hour cycle to provide a natural day/night sequence.
Humidity: Being a tropical species, Red Eye Crocodile Skinks should have humidity levels of of approximately 70-90% and should ideally not raise above that. Humidity levels should be closer to 90% when they go into shed.
Diet: Red Eye Crocodile Skinks are carnivores and naturally hunt for their food in the wild. Their diet consists of insects and other invertebrates, they should ideally be given a varied diet of insects including locust, crickets, cockroaches, wax worms and meal worms. They should be fed daily.
It is important to supplement your Lizard's food which will help in preventing MBD, calcium is the main priority supplement however others are also important such as Vitamin A. We recommend Arcadia's supplements provided on rotation including Calcium with Magnesium and Earth-Pro A Supplement. Both of these will provide a complete level of supplements.
Water is also an extremely important aspect to an animals diet and constant water access should be provided in a water bowl and should be changed daily, we generally recommend RO water or mineral water due to tap water containing chlorine which can be harmful to some animals.