Latin Name: Tribolonotus gracilis. Adult Size: 8cm to 10cm (SVL) 20cm including tail. Average Life Span: Longevity is unknown at this time, however wild caught animals have lived for over 10 years in captivity. Native Distribution: Indonesia (Irian Jaya) and Papua New Guinea. Physical Description: Adults are brownish black with bright orange surrounding the eye and a cream colored belly. Juveniles are the same body color as adults, but have a cream coloured head and lack the bright orange color around the eye. The skin is textured and leathery in appearance, hence the common name, crocodile skink. Temperament: A very shy crepuscular insectivore. Status in the Wild: Rare.
Native Habitat: Found in humid wooded areas near water. Ambient Temperature: 23C to 27C. Basking Temperature: Not applicable, however at lower ambient temperatures a warm area around 82F should be provided. Humidity Range: 70% to 100%. Lighting: Full spectrum fluorescent. Terrarium Size: Adults are best kept in M/F pairs with at least 1,000sq.cm of floor space. Terrarium Decor: Tropical rainforest motif. Terrarium Substrate: Damp sphagnum moss, cypress mulch or oak leaves with water area for soaking. Terrarium Containment: Red-eyed Crocodile Skinks have claws and can easily climb branches but not smooth surfaces. Terrarium tops are only necessary to contain food items and to regulate humidity.
Hygiene: Best kept in terrariums equipped with drainage so that waste and feces can be flushed out with water. Otherwise, clean water bowl daily and terrarium weekly. Feeding: Eats small insects, grubs and worms. Feed vitamin / mineral dusted food items daily. Handling: Although they rarely bite, frequent handling is not recommended. Both adults and juveniles are very nervous when handled and will either remain motionless or will suddenly dart for shelter. Terrarium Compatibility: Compatible with insectivorous tropical frogs and lizards.
Maturity: Sexual maturity is reached around 3 years of age. Sexing: Adult males are slightly larger than females, have more prominent toe pads, enlarged belly scales, and have a more brownish belly. See sexing Red-Eyed Crocodile Skinks photograph. Conditioning: Keep adults well fed with a variety of foods and provide calcium supplementation for females. Cycling: Breeding may occur year round. Sex Ratio: Best bred in M/F pairs. Mature males and females may be aggressive toward the same sex. Egg Laying: A single egg is laid every 6 weeks in a moist dark location on or near the substrate surface. The parents provide some guarding of the egg. See Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink egg photograph.
Incubation Temperature: 23C to 27C. Incubation / Gestation Time: Variable. 65 days is the average. Size at Birth: 6cm to 8cm total length, 3g to 5g weight. See baby Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink photograph. Hatchling Sex Ratio: Not temperature dependant. Feeding: 1mm to 2mm crickets and other small grubs and worms. Housing: Housing young together seems to pose no problems as long as they are of similar size. Keep substrate moist and provide a water bowl for drinking and soaking.