Monkey-tailed skink.
Monkey-tailed skink.

Monkey-tailed Skink

The monkey-tailed skink is an arboreal lizard from the Solomon Islands.

Monkey-tailed skink.

Solomon Island monkey-tailed skink (Corucia zebrata), Toronto Zoo.

As their name suggests monkey-tailed skinks have a prehensile tail. Unlike a the tail of a lot of other lizard species, the tail of a monkey-tailed lizard does not grow back if it is broken off.

In the wild monkey-tailed skinks live in social groups of several animals called a circulus. Members of a circulus defend their territory and take care of their young collectively.

In an unusual manner for a lizard monkey-tailed skinks are viviparous. In fact monkey-tailed skinks have a placenta that provides the young with nutrients during gestation which is quite long, up to eight months. This is something rather unusual in reptiles.

Monkey-tailed skinks are vegetarian which is somewhat unusual among skinks.

Monkey-tailed skink.

Monkey-tailed skink offered for sale at a Toronto reptile expo.

Some people like to keep monkey-tailewd skinks as pets and even breed them in captivity. Monkey-tailed skinks do well in captivity if their needs are met, they do need high humidity, lots of vertical space, heat, and UVB light.

Several monkey-tailed skinks can be kept together if they accept each-other and form a circulus.

Monkey-tailed skink.

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Last updated: November 26, 2014