Project Description

Prehensile-Tailed Skink

Corucia zebrata

Animal Class: Reptiles

Length: 2 – 3 feet

Lifespan: 16-19 years on average

Diet: Wild: vegetation, leaves, and fruit

Habitat: The prehensile-tailed skink lives in the tropical forests of San Cristobal in the Solomon Islands off the coast of Australia.

Description: The prehensile-tailed skink has a boxy head, which allows it to consume the tough leaves and vines that it needs to survive. Their teeth are very heavy, which is helpful for grinding up their food. Prehensile-tailed skinks’ upper bodies are greenish-white with irregular brown bands and possible black spots. The skink’s coloration, however, may vary slightly by region. Their front teeth have 5 toes, and on the end of each is a strong claw for climbing. The claws can also be used for defense.

Conservation status: Near Threatened

Our Animals: The Zoo has a prehensile-tailed skink in the Learning Center.

Photo Credit: Judith Wolfe