Meet Wriggles , my Eastern (Australian) Water Skink. viewtopic.php?f=26&t=217016
I've also a pair of Eastern Bluetongue Skinks (George and Mildred) .... maybe I should create a thread about their adventures and exploits and quirks.
Both species are very common endemic native species frequently found in people's suburban gardens and yards and under homes and in shed here , Wriggles, George and Mildred are all captive bred and terribly spoilt. As are my 2 beardies (Puff and Rex).
All are very inquisitive, cleavour and very affectionate and gentle, I trust them around our little grandson. They genuinely enjoy interaction with us and frequently follow us around (like a dog will) and my two BTS come when called (by their name) , their favourate activity is snuggling up under our chins , in our shirts, and snoozing while being petted. They also get freedom of the house when out of their enclosures , we simply close the doors to the rooms we want to keep the dragons and BTS out of.
Can't comment on the husbandry of American skinks, but I expect they will require at least a UVB150 or equivalent, and will benefit from a basking lamp , and opportunities to explore and climb and burrow, and perhaps to swim and splash about.
Bluetongue skinks are something I can comment on.
I kept one as wild caught pet as a child, and recently started keeping lizards as pets again after retiring. I have 2 BTS , 1 water skink and 2 CBD. They are all greatly loved companion pets for my wife and myself. I plan on adding a pair of Shingleback Skinks, some Pink Tongued skinks (a mini version of BTS) , and some more water skinks soon too.
BTS have always been a favourate lizard.
I brought my two BTS home as 2 month old babies (BTS give birth to babies , they don't lay eggs) , they are now 4 years old.
They have had one litter of babies (but I've prevented them from mating since, I used to let them roam a couple and a pregnancy resulted ..... LOL ....), was fascinating all the same watching 5 baby BTS being born and they were cute as can be (my wife and I had a very hard time parting with the babies when it came time to move them on at about 2 months old when we were sure they were eating their insects and salads and greens and veg and were thriving (we kept our babies in 100L rearing tubs 2 or 3 babies per tub , to avoid conflicts and overcrowding) - we gave our babies away to friends).
Enclosure , at least 4' x 2' for each BTS , some people house more than one BTS together, they risk fighting and serious injuries (even death).
Substrate - they seem to really like is mixture of course Kritter's Krumble + explanded dried peet coir (I also add gumtree (eucalyptus) leaf litter and twigs and bark (that I get for nothing from my big bluegum tree in my front yard).My 2 love burrowing through their bedding , I think it tickles them , especially when they are in shed.
Shallow water dish (that they can get out off without help).
Basking lamp I use is a Philips par38 clear colourless spotty (basking spot temp 35oC (on top of their fake hollow log hides).
The lights are on a simple 24hr 7d timer, on 6am, off 9:30pm.
I also provide a 7W heatpad (sandwiched between 2 layers of ceramic tiles and controlled by a simple switching thermostat , set to give a pad temperature of 34-35oC , this is set and forget).
UVB150 in a dome style reflector for UVA and UVB ,.... yes they require UVA and UVB.
Bluetongue skinks are not very good climbers, but will benefit from some easy climbing (via ramps and stepped structures).
Diet - essentially the same as a beardied dragon , my 2 particularly love banana, hardboiled eggs and even raw eggs (but only get them as treats) , they also like a bit a boiled lean chicken mince , again a treat, some people here feed their bluetongues with dog and cat food - dry pellets are often in the menu - yes I know it's very common for wild bluetongues (and water skinks) to raid dog and cat food boils , - but I don't use cat or dog food to feed my skinks because it's the wrong kind of proteins and fats and cat / dog foods are full of preservatives. I do offer Bearded dragon pellets and vetafarm lizard pellets - mixed with their greens and salad and vegs.
The BTS particularly enjoy fruit such as sliced pairs, apples, pineapples, kiwi fruit , seedless green grapes, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, but I try to limit these to treats (as the sugars can rot their teeth).
Being endemic (and native) to my area, I don't really need to provide heating for my water skink or BTS, but it helps them metabolise their food and keeps them happy and healthy and it's too dangerous to let them roam outside (too many dogs next door - 8 &*)&U(*U dogs in [email protected]
#$$$ yard that never go anywhere and are known to kill lizards and frogs and their &(^* cat roams 24/7 and kills birds , lizards, small native marcupials and frogs regularly. So my lizards are inside (house) lizards.
My 2 really like superworms, silkworms, crickets, and garden snails (that I catch for them and then feed up and gut load with kitchen scraps, this way I can be sure the snails are purged, haven't been nextdoor / been poisoned and are full of goodness).
I let my 2 BTS out one at a time with a beardie for walkies for at least 1 -2 hours per day each and they all get cuddles from mommy or daddy each day.
Bluetongues are a fabulous pet and are virtually bullet proof.