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


  1. Im looking to buy one but cant seem to find any in canada can you help?

    • I can’t personally help, but they are usually available for sale during events such as reptile shows or the Canadian Pet Expo.
      As you can see one of the pictures was taken during a reptile expo.
      Also reptile stores in your area may be able to get one for you if you ask them.

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