When we got our Monkey Tailed Skink at Northampton Reptile Centre I became fascinated by it. Although the other guys in the shop have kept them before, I’ll be the first to admit I knew nothing about them. So I’d like to share with you what I found out about these amazing reptiles.
They originate from the Solomon Islands of South East Asia which is why they are also known as the Solomon Islands Tree Skink. They are a large(ish) arboreal lizard (tree climbing) growing to over 2 feet and spending most of their time just hanging around in the branches. They are exclusively herbivorous and eat a variety of fruit and vegetables.
Yet another name for these guys is the Prehensile Tailed Skinks. This refers to their ability to use their tail for gripping. This is a great advantage when you spend your time climbing trees. It acts as a fifth limb and they would certainly struggle without it.
Like other skinks they give birth to live babies, usually only one or two a year. Because of this low reproduction rate and the deforestation in their native islands they have now become endangered. Exports have been banned, which is good, and only captive bred specimens are now available.
Like any reptile, the key to keeping a Monkey Tailed Skink at home is to recreate their natural environment as closely as possible. Heat, humidity, UVB all need to be right as well as plenty of places to climb and hide. Anybody interested in keeping Monkey Tailed Skinks can contact the shop any time and we would be happy to advise.
I have included some pictures of our Monkey Tail Skink with this blog so I’d be interested in hearing what you all think of him (or her). I think he is great!