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The Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink (Tribolonotus gracilis)

This tiny little lizard is both adorable as well as irritable. It is not a lizard you would want to hold onto and pet often. That said, there is a lot of fascinating things about this Skink that we can learn!

Physical Description and Behavior

These lizards are fairly small, only being about 4 inches long. They are stout-bodied, and 4 separate rows of scales across their back. This is what makes them look more like a crocodile, since their name. The name "red-eyed" comes from their orange or red scales that surround their eyes.

The Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink prefers not to be petted or touched, and handling them in any way tends to stress them out. They also should be housed with both a male and female species, to help reduce stress. For this reason, they may not make the best pets, though this has not stopped anyone yet. They often live 5 to 6 years but have been known to live up to 12 years in captivity.

Their diet composes of consuming insects such as roaches, crickets, mealworms, and the like. Often the insects that they eat will be half of the size of their head. Females will lay only one egg every six weeks, burying that egg in the ground. Both parents will protect the egg until it hatches. It can then take 3-4 years before these skinks reach sexual maturity.

Habitat and Location

These skinks prefer wet and humid environments, such as rainforests. While they are capable of climbing trees, they mainly just stick to the forest floor. While they may be able to be found in some pet stores, they can only natively be found in Papua New Guinea.

According to the IUCN Red List, it is classified as least concern.

Learn more about this little dragon by checking out this video of a guy geeking out about them:

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