©2000 Melissa Kaplan
There are more than eighty species of these sleek, long-tailed skinks. As befits their numbers, they can be found through various habitats in Southeast Asia, Africa and the tropics of the Americas. About the only places they are not found are in deserts* and shady forests.
Color and markings vary amongst species and members, but are primarily shades of brown. Many have bright colored areas and longitudinal stripes.
Tails autotomize and are somewhat fragile. Catching for handling and transfer should be done with care.
During their most active times of day, their body temperatures may be 3-10 C (37-50 F) degrees higher than the ambient temperatures.
Provide daily basking areas with an overhead radiant heat source. The overallthermal gradient ranging from 25-30 C (77-86 F), and the basking area to 32 C (90 F). Reduce heat at night no lower than 20 C (68 F) on the cool side.
Water should be provided, A water bowl may be used; initially, a dripper bottle to drip water into the bowl may be useful to get them used to it.
UVB radiation is required, as with most diurnal insectivores.
Most Mabuya are relatively compatible with each other and, given a large enough enclosure, may be kept in small groups. Some males, however, are aggressive towards other males.
Some species are considered "difficult" to keep in captivity.
M. capensis. Southern Africa grasslands. 25 cm (10 in.). 10-15 young.
M. carinata. Shiny Skink. India and Sri Lanka forests. To 30 cm (12 in.). Oviparous.
M. chapaense. Vietnam.
M. darevskii. Vietnam.
M. mabouya. American Shiny Skink. Central and South America, adaptable to many environments. 25 cm (10 in.)
M. megalura. Grass-top Skink.
M. multifasciata. Many-striped Mabuya. Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Philippines dry brushlands. To 20 cm (8 in.). Fossorial. Ovoviviparous.
M. quinquetaeniata. Rainbow Rock Skink; Five-striped Mabuya. Northeastern to southeastern Africa savannahs and steppes; may be found near human habitation. To 25 cm (10 in.). Oviparous.
M. striata. African Striped Skink; Striped Skink; House Skink. Eastern and southern Africa, adaptable to many environments; often in open areas, including those disturbed by man. To 20 cm (8 in.). Ovoviviparous.
M. sechellensis. Seychelles and Amirantes Islands
M. septemtaeniata (M. aurata). Northeastern Africa to southeastern Asia, in dry, rocky areas. To 20 cm (8 in.). Ovoviviparous.
M. spilogaster. Kalahari Tree Skink, Namib desert. (Per J. Walls).
M. unimarginata. Costa Rica.
M. vittata. Northeastern Africa to Asia Minor grasslands and brush. 18 cm (7.2 in.). Ovoviviparous
Obst, et al. 1988. Completely Illustrated Atlas of Reptiles and Amphibians. TFH Publishing, Neptune City, NJ.
Walls, J.G. 1994. Skinks: Identification, care and breeding.
TIGR Reptile Database: Scincidae: Mabuya
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