Solomon Island Skinks

Scientific Name Corucia zebrata

Native To The Soloman Islands which are located off the coast of Papua New Guinea northeast of Australia

Habitat Tree-dwelling

Diet Herbivorous – eats leaves, flowers, and fruit

Size and Age These skinks can live 15 years and can grow to be 2-2.5 feet long.

Natural History

Solomon Island Skinks are also commonly known and Monkey Tail Skinks or Prehensile Tail Skinks for their unique prehensile tail. This tail acts like a fifth limb when the skinks are clambering about in the trees. If a skink slips from a branch, it can hold its entire wright by its tail. These skinks are also known for living in family groups called a circulus. This is unusual among reptiles. Both male and female skinks will defend a cirulus’ territory against members from of another family group.


Conservation Status

Two major threats face the Solomon Island Skinks. They are exploited for the pet trade. Skinks are illegally taken from their natural habitat and sold as pets. The other issue facing these skinks is deforestation. As more trees in the Solomon Islands are cut down, the skinks’ habitat is shrinking. You can help by only purchasing captive-breed reptiles and reducing paper use.

Interesting Facts

  1. Females give live birth. Their offspring are very large in comparison to their body size – up to ½ the size of the mother!
  2. Unlike other lizards, these skinks cannot regenerate their tail.
  3. These skinks are the largest species of skink in the world.