Prehensile-tailed Skink

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Prehensile-tailed skink (Copyright © RVC)

Scientific name: Corucia zebrata

Other common names: Monkey-tailed skink, Solomon Islands skink, zebra skink


The prehensile-tailed skink is a very large skink. They reach a maximum length of 80cm, half of which is composed of a fully prehensile tail. The dorsal surface has a grey/green background and is speckled black. The chin is yellow and the underside pale. They are adept tree dwellers and make slow deliberate movements. They have become popular terrarium animals due to their easy husbandry, large size and unusual appearance. They give live birth, though only to one large (22-27cm) young every second year, and are relatively easy to breed in captivity. Parental care has been observed in captivity (one of the few lizards that show any degree of sociality).


Solomon Islands


Prehensile tailed skinks are herbivorous. Captives take a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, chopped meat and large invertebrates including snails. The diet should be supplemented.


These arboreal lizards are shy and strictly nocturnal. Provide plenty of branches solid enough to offer them support. They require plenty of cover in order to adjust well to a terrarium. A tall cage with a myriad of branches for climbing is essential. The enclosure should be moderately humid and well ventilated.

Captives become quite docile and allow handling. However, prehensile-tailed skinks have large, powerful jaws and if annoyed or frightened can deliver a serious bite.


Daytime temperatures should be 25-32ºC with a slight drop at night.

Literature Search

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Prehensile-tailed Skink (Corucia zebrata) publications