The Pink-Tongued Skink (Cyclodomorphus gerrardii) is a fascinating species of lizard native to Australia. With its distinct pink tongue, this skink stands out among its relatives, the Blue-Tongued Skinks. It is known for its long, slender body, well-developed limbs, and sharp claws.
The Pink-Tongued Skink typically displays a fawn or slate gray coloring with black or dark-gray crossbands, while the scales are smooth and the head scales have black edges. In this comprehensive care guide, we will explore the essential aspects of keeping Pink-Tongued Skinks as pets, including their care requirements, diet, enclosure setup, and important considerations.
Pink-Tongued Skink Care Sheet
|Common Name||Pink-Tongued Skink|
|Scientific Name||Cyclodomorphus gerrardii|
|Size as Adult||Average length of 30 cm|
|Weight||Varies, typically between 150-300 grams|
|Diet||Omnivorous (Feeding on fruits, vegetables, insects, and small vertebrates)|
|Enclosure Size Requirements||Minimum 40-gallon tank for a single adult|
|Enclosure Temperature Requirements||80°F (warm end) and 75°F (cool end)|
|Humidity Requirements||Ambient humidity of 60-70%|
Husbandry and Enclosure Requirements
When setting up an enclosure for your Pink-Tongued Skink, it’s crucial to provide an environment that mimics its natural habitat. The enclosure should be spacious enough to accommodate the skink’s active nature. A minimum tank size of 40 gallons is recommended for a single adult skink, but larger enclosures are even better. Ensure the enclosure has secure ventilation and escape-proof features.
It’s essential to create a temperature gradient within the enclosure. The warm end, where the skink will bask, should be maintained at around 80°F, while the cooler end should be kept at approximately 75°F. This temperature variation allows the skink to regulate its body temperature effectively.
Proper lighting is vital for the skink’s well-being. Provide a full-spectrum UVB light source to ensure proper calcium metabolism and vitamin D3 synthesis. Additionally, a basking lamp should be installed to create a localized heat source for the skink’s thermoregulation.
Maintaining adequate humidity is crucial for Pink-Tongued Skinks. Aim for an ambient humidity level of 60-70% in the enclosure. Regular misting or using a humidifier can help achieve the required humidity levels. Provide hiding spots, branches, and logs to create a stimulating and enriching environment for your skink.
Dietary Needs and Feeding Schedule
The Pink-Tongued Skink is an omnivorous species, which means it has a diverse diet consisting of both plant and animal matter. In the wild, they feed on a variety of fruits, vegetables, insects, and small vertebrates. As a pet owner, it’s important to replicate this balanced diet in captivity.
For the plant component of their diet, offer a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables such as leafy greens, squash, berries, and melons. It’s crucial to provide a varied selection to ensure they receive a range of nutrients. Leafy greens like kale and collard greens are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals.
When it comes to the animal component, Pink-Tongued Skinks can be fed a variety of live insects like crickets, mealworms, and roaches. These insects should be gut-loaded with nutritious foods before feeding them to your skink. Additionally, small vertebrates such as pinky mice or small lizards can be offered occasionally, but they should not form the primary part of the diet.
Feeding frequency for Pink-Tongued Skinks can vary depending on age and individual appetite. Juveniles should be fed daily, while adults can be fed every 2-3 days. It’s important to monitor their weight and adjust the feeding schedule accordingly to prevent obesity or undernourishment.
Things to Consider
Taming and Handling
Pink-Tongued Skinks can be shy and may take some time to adjust to their new environment. It’s important to approach taming and handling with patience and gentle techniques.
Spend time near the enclosure, allowing the skink to become familiar with your presence. Gradually introduce hand-feeding to build trust. Once they are comfortable, you can begin handling them slowly and gently, supporting their body properly.
Costs and Maintenance
Acquiring a Pink-Tongued Skink as a pet involves initial costs such as purchasing the skink, setting up the enclosure, and acquiring the necessary lighting and heating equipment. Additionally, ongoing costs include regular food supply, substrate, and veterinary care. It’s essential to budget for these expenses to ensure the skink’s well-being.
Maintenance of the enclosure involves regular cleaning to maintain hygiene and prevent the buildup of waste. Spot clean daily and perform a thorough cleaning of the enclosure on a weekly basis. This includes replacing substrate, sanitizing surfaces, and cleaning food and water dishes.
Comparison to Blue-Tongued Skinks
While Pink-Tongued Skinks and Blue-Tongued Skinks share some similarities in care requirements, there are notable differences between the two species. Pink-Tongued Skinks are generally smaller and have a more slender body compared to the larger Blue-Tongued Skinks. Another noticeable difference is their tongue color, with Pink-Tongued Skinks having a pink tongue and Blue-Tongued Skinks having a blue tongue.
In terms of feeding behavior, Blue-Tongued Skinks are often more food-motivated and readily consume a variety of food items, including wet dog food, vegetables, and fruits. Pink-Tongued Skinks may be less food-motivated, but it’s important to provide them with an appropriate diet for their nutritional needs.
Both species require similar care in terms of enclosure setup, including providing a warm basking area, a cooler side, and UVB lighting. They also benefit from a high humidity environment, although specific humidity requirements may vary slightly.
When it comes to lifespan, Pink-Tongued Skinks generally have a longer lifespan, which can help offset their initial cost. They are priced between $250 and $300. Blue-Tongued Skinks can live up to 30 years in captivity and are also considered long-term commitments.
PetsWithScales.com is an informational website about big lizard pet care. We collect and provide information from different sources across the web on how to keep and care for reptiles as pets. The species we mainly deal with are tegus, monitor lizards, skinks and geckos. Our aim is to provide high quality information to help pet owners make better, more informed decisions about their animal’s diets, health and life.