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African Fire Skink: Characteristics, Care & Feeding

The Fire Skink is a fairly large lizard (up to 37 cm in size), popular for its bright coloration. They are quite tame and calmly carry when they are taken in hand.

Natives of Africa, love to bury and hide under the roots. Most of the individuals are imported from nature.

Appearance

The Fire Skink’s tail is slightly longer than the body. The body length of an adult Skink reaches 37-40 cm, of which the length of the head and body is 17 cm, the length of the tail is 20 cm. The body is elongated, smoothly turning into the head without a cervical interception, the head is short, the muzzle is rounded. This is one of the brightest and most beautiful representatives of the family. The color of the back is dominated by red-brown tones, some are yellow-brown. The sides are bright red, with narrow light and black vertical stripes. Dorsal feet are black. The belly is light, almost white. The tail is colored black with slightly pronounced bluish transverse stripes and spots.

Lifestyle

Fire Skinks spend most of their lives in burrows, which they dig themselves, choosing areas along with the roots of trees. Fire Skink leads a twilight lifestyle but easily changes to a daytime one. Like most members of the Skink family, these lizards are very flexible but very resourceful and nimble. Fire Skinks feed on insects that are caught on the forest floor.

Reproduction

The female lays eggs in a substrate: under stones or tree bark. Sometimes it is difficult to find the nest as it is carefully camouflaged. One nest can contain up to 9 eggs (on average 5). The incubation period lasts about 40 days.

Keeping in Captivity

This species of Skinks is very calm about the presence of their own kind and other reptiles, so they can be kept either alone or in groups of several females and males. The terrarium should be horizontal with many branches and hills. The daytime temperature should be within 24-30 ° С, while at night it should drop to 18-21 ° С. Humidity should be within 50-70%, the soil must be constantly sprayed and not allowed to dry out completely.

The lifespan of Skinks in captivity reaches 20 years.

Feeding

African Fire Skink is a predator. These lizards can feed on cockroaches, crickets, mealworms, newborn mice, and rats. All feed must be mixed with vitamin and calcium supplements. When keeping a group of Skinks, it is advisable to feed with tweezers, so that you know who and how much you fed.

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