10 Types of Skinks that Make Great Pets

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If you are a reptile pet lover, probably you would like to have a pet skink. Skinks are docile, and they aren’t aggressive like other reptile pets such as snakes.  You can keep different skinks at your home if you are thinking about owning a skink pet.

Skinks come in different sizes, colors, and temperaments. These lizards also feed on a variety of diets. Here are the top 10 types of skinks you can keep at your home.

Blue Tongued Skink

The blue tongued skink is one of the popular types of skinks among skink pet lovers. Blue tongued skinks are also referred to as blue tongues. Blue tongued skinks are generally low-maintenance pets. They are also some of the easiest skinks to keep.

Appearance

The blue tongued skink has a large and long body. The diurnal lizard also has a brown color and longitudinal bands on its neck. The bands also extend to its tail. The blue-tongued skink is known for its huge blue tongue.

 Behavior

The blue tongued skink shows little aggression. This lizard is a docile creature that is relatively easy to tame. Blue tongued skinks are secretive and shy, and they prefer staying close to their shelters. They don’t show any aggression even when they are living in their natural habitats.

Diet

The blue tongued skink is an omnivorous creature. It hence feeds on a variety of plants and animals, mainly insects.  Even in captivity, this lizard needs an omnivorous-based diet. It feeds on insects, vegetables, and fruits.

 Size

An adult blue tongued skink can grow to a maximum size of between 20 and 25 inches. Juveniles measure between 7 and 9 inches.

Temperament

Blue tongued skink is quite friendly. However, this skink needs to be handled with care since it becomes scared quickly. It can at times be shy and resist handling when someone approaches its cage. The blue tongued skinks prefer to live alone. Males can become aggressive towards each other, especially during the mating season.

Blue Tailed Skink

The blue tailed skink is a skink that is prevalent in Australia’s Christmas Island. It is also known as the western skink. It gets its name blue tailed skink due to its noticeable blue tail.

Appearance

The blue-tailed skink is a medium-sized lizard with a tremendous blue tail. Blue-tailed skinks can either be black or dark brown with white or yellowish stripes across their bodies.

Behavior 

The blue-tailed skink is a diurnal lizard, meaning that this lizard species is active during the day.  It prefers basking in the sun either in the late afternoon or early in the morning. The blue-tailed skinks are non-aggressive, and therefore they make great pet lizards for lizard lovers. These lizards like burrowing in tunnels for both shelter and protection.  Wild blue-tailed skinks like foraging in low vegetation areas and on the rocks.

Diet

Blue-tailed skinks is an insectivorous lizard species. It hence prey on a variety of worms and small bugs. These lizards also prey on earthworms and other types of invertebrates.

Size

Blue-tailed skinks are smaller lizard species. They are among the smallest skinks on the globe. They measure between 1.6 and 3.1 inches on average.

Temperament

Blue-tailed skink is also friendly like its blue tongued cousin.  The skink is non-aggressive, and it exhibits social behavior, especially towards each other. However, this skink is timid, and it can become stressed when threatened, prompting it to burrow deeper in the soil while living in the wild. The skink can also hide in the cage for extended hours if it detects any threat.

Broadhead Skink

The broadhead skink is one of the largest skink species. Although the broadhead skinks are often seen on the ground, they are mostly arboreal, which means their natural habitat is up on trees.

 Appearance

The broadhead skink derives its name from its large, triangular-shaped head. Adult broadhead skinks are either olive-brown or brown. Male broadhead skinks have bright orange heads. Females have light brown stripes across their bodies. Juveniles can either be black or dark brown. Nonetheless, their color varies with geographical location.

Behavior

Broadhead skinks are foraging lizards. They forage both on the ground and high on trees. These lizards usually prefer to live on trees for foraging and shelter. They are naturally shy and docile. They are also among some of the most active skink species, and they show plenty of activity even in captivity.

Diet

Broadhead skinks feed on a variety of insects, smaller rodents, snails, and smaller skinks. They forage for food on trees, and they rely on their scent and visual signals to search for food.

Size

The broadhead skinks are large lizard species. They can grow to a maximum size of between 7 and 9 inches. They also have broader bodies than other skink species.

Temperament

Broadhead skink is a docile type of skink, making it one of the easiest skinks to handle.  The broadhead skink is non-aggressive. However, it is a solitary lizard, meaning it opts to live alone rather than in groups.

Fire Skink

The fire skink is a large skink species that is predominantly found in the Western Africa region.  It is also known as the Togo skink or the true skink. The lizard is also a common type of diurnal lizard that thrives well in the wild or captivity.

Appearance

The fire skink has distinctive bright colors. Some fire skinks, however, have vivid color. The back of the fire skink has smooth, gold scales.  Fire skinks have silver lines on their sides.

Behavior

The fire skin is overly reclusive and shy. However, the lizard has the best temperament among all diurnal lizards. It feels secure in its environment, and it can display frequent activity even when living in captivity. Fire skinks are docile by nature.  They are calm and non-aggressive compared to most skinks. Nonetheless, these lizards escape very fast when threatened.

Diet

Fire skinks are naturally omnivorous creatures.  Therefore, these lizards can feed on both animal and plant matter.  Fire skinks diet comprises worms, roaches, crickets, and a variety of insects.

 Size

Fire skins are relatively larger skink species. These lizards can grow to a maximum size of 15 inches, including their tails.

Temperament

Fire skinks are reclusive and shy. But these skinks are very friendly when they feel secure. Being docile, these skinks can easily tolerate handling. Nonetheless, they are pretty fast, and they can also become squirmy when threatened.

Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink

The Red-eyed crocodile skink is native to New Guinea. This skink is prevalent in the tropical rainforests of New Guinea.

Appearance

The red-eyed crocodile skink is a small skink species with a dark brown color. The skink’s head is red, and it is similar to the crocodile’s head. This skink has a yellowish or cream underbody. It has powerful legs and a stout body. Red-eyed crocodile males have white pores on their legs.

Behavior

The red-eyed crocodile skink is a shy lizard species that is primarily active during dusk and dawn. Although it occasionally climbs on trees, the skink prefers to live on the tropical forest floor most of the time. It is the only type of skink that makes a sound once it is distressed. The skink is also known for playing dead.  Red-eyed crocodile skins also drop their tails once threatened.

 Diet

The red-eyed crocodile skink is an insectivore, meaning it feeds strictly on insects. Some of its favorite foods include fruit flies, crickets, and roaches.

Size

The red-eyed crocodile skink is one of the smallest skin species on the earth. The skink measures between 8 and 10 cm. Some red-eyed crocodile skinks can grow more than 10 cm in size.

Temperament

The red-eyed crocodile skink is shy and docile. But the skink can become aggressive when threatened.  Although the red-eyed skin can make a friendly pet, it can become unsocial if stressed. This skink can aggressively defend its offspring and territory.

Common Garden Skink

Also known as the pale-flecked garden skink, the common garden skink is a small type of lizard prevalent in Australia. There are also some subspecies of common garden skinks in North America.

Appearance

The common garden skin has a brownish-black color. This skink can also have a shade of red color when exposed to the sun. Its teeth are small to enable it to bite smaller prey. The female common garden skink has a yellowish color while its male counterpart has a light grey color that extends to its underside. Female common garden skinks are bigger than males in terms of size.

Behavior

The common garden skink is a docile lizard, even when living in the wild. This lizard prefers living under logs and rocks to hide from predators. The skink is active both day and night.  Their natural habitat can either be under rocks, leaves and logs.

Diet

Although small in size, the common garden skink feeds on larger prey, including invertebrates, moths, caterpillars, and earthworms.

 Size

The common skink has a small size of between 8 and 10 cm. The skink rarely grows beyond 14 cm in length.

Temperament

The common garden skink exhibits normal behavior and interaction. The skink is gregarious, calm, and non-aggressive. It is, however, a curious lizard species that prefer to explore its environment. The lizard has an overall good temperament.

Five-Lined Skink

The five-lined skink is a lizard species that is native to North America. The skink is among the most common skinks in the eastern part of the US.  It has five lines across its body, earning it the name five-lined skink.

Appearance

The five-lined skink is a medium-sized skink with five distinctive yellowish and white stripes running along its body. The five-lined skinks also have bright blue tails. The blue color of the tails tends to fade as these skinks age.

Behavior

Adult five-lined skinks, especially males, exhibit complex and aggressive behavior. Males also defend their territories actively. Females exhibit solid parental care. Five-lined skink also exhibits a unique anti-predation behavior. They use biting as a way of protecting themselves from predators.

Diet

The diet of the five-lined skinks consists mainly of a wide array of arthropods, especially spiders. These skinks also feed on a variety of insects, including crickets and beetles. Five-lined skinks can also occasionally feed on smaller lizards and frogs.

Size

The five-lined skinks can grow to an average size of between 4.9 and 8.5 inches. Some adults can, however, grow to a maximum length of 12 inches.

Temperament

The five-lined skink is an overly aggressive lizard species that acts aggressively towards other lizards.  It thus prefers living alone, unless during the mating season. However, it isn’t aggressive towards its owners as it is towards strangers.

Rainbow Skink

The rainbow skink is a colorful skink that is prevalent in suburban gardens. The rainbow skink is also known as the metallic skink.

Appearance

The rainbow skink is a colorful middle-sized skink with a slender tail. The skink also has smooth, bright scales. Its sides and back can be rich brown or greyish-brown. The outer side of the skink’s back has a yellowish-brown stripe, although the color of this stripe can differ depending on the gender and geographical location of the skink.

Behavior

The rainbow skink loves sunbathing more than any other type of skink. It exhibits social behavior, and it is non-aggressive. This lizard species also like living in groups. It, however, remains alert, and it escapes extremely fast once threatened.

Diet

The rainbow skink is an omnivorous lizard species. Therefore, this skink can feed on both plants and animals. It, however, opts for larger insects such as crickets, earthworms, caterpillars, and snails.

Size

The rainbow skink is a medium-sized skink measuring between 7 to 9.5 inches on average. Juveniles measure between 5.5 and 6.5 inches.  Adults can grow up to 10 inches, especially female rainbow skinks.

Temperament

The rainbow skink is one of the friendliest types of skinks. Its friendly nature and good temperament make it a lovely pet lizard, particularly for first-time pet lizard keepers. This lizard is also easy to handle since it adapts well to handling.

Mole Skink

The mole skink is a small lizard species that is prevalent in the southeast regions of the US. The mole skink is considered an endangered lizard species.

Appearance

The mole skink is a small-sized skink with a shiny and cylindrical body. It has a brownish color, although baby mole skinks have blue tails, which make up a significant portion of their bodies. Its legs are smaller in size.

Behavior

The mole skink doesn’t compete with other skinks for food or territory.  It prefers to hunt for prey on the surface of logs and rocks. The mole skink plays dead when threatened.

Diet

The mole skink is an insectivorous lizard. It feeds primarily on a variety of insects, including crickets, roaches, and spiders.

Size

The mole skink measures between 4 and 6 inches on average.

Temperament

The mole skink has a mellow temperament, making it an excellent lizard pet for lizard enthusiasts.

Many-Stripped Skink (Eutropis multifasciata)

The many-striped skink is a common type of skink that is prevalent in Asia. It is also called the sun skink. It is present in the centra parts of the US  although there are some subspecies of many-striped skink throughout Asia

Appearance

The skink has small and thin limbs. Its body is tubular and it has a bold stripe running across the length of the body. Its overall body coloration can either be light gray or tan. It has a pale cream underside, although the underside doesn’t have color markings. The many-striped skink also has a conspicuous blue tail.

Behavior

Many-Striped Skink likes foraging on forests. It is also a diurnal lizard, and thus the skink is active during the day. The many-striped skink doesn’t explore through its habitat. Instead, it likes hiding under rocks, logs and boards. It quickly darts to shelter when it is disturbed. Moreover, the skink is known to drop its tail to evade predators.

Diet

The many-striped skink feeds primarily on insects. It preys on insects such as spiders and crickets. It can also feed on larger insects including snails and smaller frogs.

Size

Many-Striped skink is a medium-sized lizard that grows to a maximum size of 7.5 inches in length, from its snout to its tail. Juveniles can measure between  3.5 to  5 inches.

Temperament

Many-Striped skink is a docile lizard sp[ecies. It has a pleasant temperament, which makes the skink an excellent pet lizard that is easy to handle. It is non-aggressive and friendly.  However, the skink can hide if it is disturbed. Nonetheless, the many striped skinks makes a beautiful pet lizard.

Wrap Up

Skinks are perhaps the most common reptile pets. Most lizard lovers have been keeping these lizards for many years. Also, they boast a long lifespan, making them great long-term pets.

Perhaps the best part of skinks is that they are the easiest reptile pets to maintain.  You can choose your favorite skink from any of these ten skinks covered here.

Reptiles, Skinks

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