The Emerald Grass Skink is a very active lizard that require a lot of space to move around. A minimum of 90 x 45 x 60cm should be provided to house up to four adults, although bigger is definitely appreciated. This will provide good opportunity for horizontal movement as well as the all important arboreal habits. To begin, your enclosure will need a good quality loose substrate such as soil - this will ensure moisture is held and will also provide the option of a live planted terrarium, which is much more natural and aesthetically pleasing. It may also be a good idea to think about a drainage layer, consisting of a layer of hydro rocks, matting and then your substrate - this will stop the soil becoming water logged and helps aid humidity in the tank by re-using the water that collects in the bottom layers.
To be sure that your skinks can make use of the entire enclosure, a lot of decor will need arranging in your enclosure. It is essential that the climbing structure created is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the animal but also that it creates access to the higher portions of the tank, and make heat and UV more accessible. For this, you could use a variety of branches, logs, vines and foliage. To allow your skinks to take cover from heat and UV and hide from view, you should also use some of this decor to create sufficient 'off show' areas - for example dense foliage over a branch to create a hidden area underneath. Being diurnally active, this wont effect you viewing your skinks as they will still venture out to bask and feed, and they are usually active animals.
Heat and UVB are vital elements of any reptile enclosure. For the Emerald Grass Skink, you will first require a good heat source - either a basking bulb or ceramic heat emitter are best. Any heat source should be attached to a thermostat for regulation and safety of the animal. You should also use an accurate digital thermometer for monitoring. This should be placed at the top of the enclosure, facing down as the skinks would also bask at height. A temperature of between 30-32C should be maintained in this basking area, with the cooler areas of the tank remaining around 22-25C, allowing your skinks to move away from the heat as well as towards it for basking. During the night, you may not need to heat the enclosure, as temperatures can drop to around 15-20C - this mimicking a natural temperature drop experienced by the animals in a wild setting. Another essential aspect of the enclosure is a good quality UVB light. This will come in the form of a strip bulb such as Arcadia's T5 6% (the strength will depend on the height of the enclosure). This bulb will enable your animal to metabolise key nutrients and use them effectively in the body, as a result, not having this UV can make them extremely ill and even prove fatal. You will use UVB in a 12 hours cycle, going off as the temperature drops. It is also important to note that all UV has a lifespan to be considered, between 6 - 12 months (this again will depend on the bulb and brand). After the lifespan of the bulb is up, the UV will no longer be being emitted, even if the tube is still glowing.
Another consideration of this animals environment is the humidity. For Emerald Grass Skinks, this should remain between 60 - 80%, measured with an accurate digital hygrometer). To achieve this humidity, the enclosure will require frequent spraying, a good quality, moisture holding substrate and possibly the addition of a fogger and/or live plants. Another aspect to note is that the skinks are unlikely to drink from still water, such as in a water dish, and it is therefore highly recommended that a fountain or dripper is included to ensure that your animals are constantly hydrated. Another good idea is the use of broad leaf plants on which water can collect for them to drink off.
Your Emerald Grass Skinks are insectivores and so will feed on a good variety of small sized crickets, locust, calci-worms and mini meal worms. Variety will be key in providing your skinks with good nutrition as all prey items differ in nutritional value. You will also need to dust the live food with additional calcium, multi-vitamins and D3 in the relevant feeding rota to ensure your skinks gets from its diet everything needed of the body. It is always recommended also that live food be 'gut loaded' before being fed to the animal to make them an even better quality meal.
Swell SuperStore Emerald Grass Skinks:
- Current Age/Size - 5 inches approx excluding tail (snout to vent)
- Adult Expected Size - 6 inches excluding tail (snout to vent)
- Habitat - Rain forests of Japan. Arboreal living.
- Required Enclosure Size - minimum of 90 x 45 x 60cm (group of 3-4 adults)
- UV Lighting - 3 - 4 UVI (6% T5 - dependent on the height of the enclosure)
- Expected Lifespan - 6 - 10 Years
- Temperature Gradient - 25 - 32C
- Humidity Levels - 60 - 80%
- Feeding - Insectivores - Mainly live food such as small crickets, locust and worms
- Handling - Careful handling is possible.
If you like the look of these animals, and would like any further information, please call the shop directly on 0161 351 4705, or contact them for more images or information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE NOTE - If you are looking to purchase a particular animal we would require photos of the set up the animal will be going in. Photos should include one of the whole set up and one of the lighting detailing uv strengths and temps as well as thermostat. We would recommend you provide these before travelling to us, via email.