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Common Name: Solomon Islands skink

Scientific Name: Corucia zebrata

Mother and newborn twin skinks at Naples Zoo taken in spring 2008.

Description: This species is the largest of all skinks. Length from head to tail can reach up to 81 centimeters. Unlike many skinks which can shed their tail, the Solomon Islands skink has a strong, prehensile tail. This species can easily dangle its entire body hanging from its tail. Body color ranges through many shades of olive green and may include lighter stripes or speckles.

Range: Two of the Solomon Islands: Bougainville and Buka

Habitat: Rainforest. This species is highly arboreal.

Diet: Herbivorous: Leaves and fruit.

Social Life: This species is relatively gregarious, although aggression between groups is noted. Territories are well defended and some form of scent marking including a waxy deposit is used. One offspring (twins are rare) is born following a gestation of approximately seven months. The juvenile is quite large, being as long as 30 centimeters.

Great skink camouflage

Conservation: Listed as threatened under Appendix II of CITES. Extreme habitat loss on the Solomon Islands greatly threatens this species. Subspecies may exist and may possibly be identified by coloration and pattern although scattered removal by the pet trade and the resulting problematic captive breeding may have made these identifications impossible.


Recommended LINKS & BOOKS

If you already own a skink, be sure to read Philippe De Vosjoli's short manual on the skinks: Prehensile-Tailed Skinks (General Care and Maintenance of Series)

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