The Truth About Crocodile Skinks As Pets
Are Crocodile Skinks Good Pets?
Crocodile skinks have been growing in popularity because of their unique appearance. They are good pets for keepers that do not want a very interactive animal because they have a shy temperament. The overall maintenance for crocodile skinks is also fairly easy.
Crocodile skinks are typically shy and would prefer seclusion. It is not recommended to hold them all the time and take them out of their cages regularly. They may become stiff or nervous when being held.
They will typically make noises, drop their tails, and bite if they have had enough of handling. It can be rare for them to bite their owners. However, they do have a limit to how much they want to be handled.
This is not a super social reptile and they will be much happier with minimal handling. Crocodile skinks might not be the best option for children as well because they are so shy.
If you prefer minimal handling of a reptile, then a crocodile skink will be the best fit for you. It is possible for you to build a good relationship with your skink so they will be calm like the ones above.
Another reason why crocodile skinks are great pets is because they don’t require a lot of equipment for their enclosures. A simple enclosure is perfect for a crocodile skink.
Crocodile skink enclosures need to have a lot of floor space. This means that you don’t need a tank with a lot of vertical space and very few accessories. An 18″x18″ tank that is well ventilated is large enough since these reptiles don’t grow more than 10 inches in length.
If you want to have more than one skink in a cage then you need to house a male and a female together. Two males or two females kept together could cause some fighting or territory issues.
Crocodile skink substrate should be soft and able to hold in humidity. Eco Earth or sphagnum moss will be the better options. You can also use fake moss if you want an even lower maintenance substrate.
Since they are so shy, it would be best if you gave your crocodile skink a few hides. Some rock caves or hollow logs will give your skink plenty of security.
Temperature and Lighting
Crocodile skinks thrive in cooler temperatures. The temperatures need to be between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat lamps will cause too much heat in the enclosure and this can cause stress for crocodile skinks.
An electric thermometer will be essential for you because they can easily become ill from too much temperature fluctuation. Reptile LED lights can be used as well just to brighten up the tank. A UVA/UVB light is not required.
Since lights are not a requirement, it is important to regularly dust their food with vitamins and calcium powder.
Even though crocodile skinks like cooler temperatures, they still require a high percentage of humidity. They need 80%-95% humidity.
One way these levels can be achieved is to leave a shallow water bowl constantly filled with fresh water. The bowl should not be too deep. The bowl needs to be cleaned regularly too to prevent bacteria growth.
Another way to have high humidity is to use the substrate that I mentioned earlier. Eco Earth and the moss siting on top will hold in the humidity. Lightly spray their enclosure with water every day to give the substrate moisture and give the glass moisture.
A fogger can also be used once a day for more intense humidity. Most cages have some sort of mesh top as well that will provide a lot of ventilation. You can use a piece of glass that will fit perfectly over half of the mesh. Do not completely cover the top of the cage because that will cut off oxygen to your skink.
You will definitely need a humidity gauge to monitor the humidity. Levels too low will be dangerous for your skink and cause illnesses.
A crocodile skink diet consists of insects. The insects they can eat are crickets, various types of worms, and roaches. All of these insects need to be store-bought to prevent parasites. All of the insects need to be gut loaded with insect feeders and dusted with reptile calcium powder.
Small pinky mice can even be fed to your adult crocodile skink for extra protein.
Make sure there is a food bowl or some sort of place where you can feed your skink without the insects burrowing in the substrate. It is common to put insects in a plastic bin outside of the tank and put your reptile in the bin as well so they don’t accidentally eat substrate.
Feed your crocodile skinks three times a week.
Even though a crocodile skink has a shy temperament, it is still a great pet for beginners. The most maintenance will be keeping up the humidity. They look very unique and they will be your friend for up to 12 years with proper care.