sandfish skink care - Noah's Ark Pets
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Reptile Care

Common Name: Arabian Sandfish Skink or the Common Sandfish
Scientific Name: Scincus mitranus and Scincus scinus
Adult Size: 13-15 cm (5-6") in length.

The common sandfish is found in the desert regions of North Africa and the Middle East.The sandfish are a unique group of desert skinks which have adapted to a burrowing lifestyle. Unlike the majority of skinks, which have snake-like body forms, the sandfish have a fairly robust body with full-sized limbs and a medium-length tail. The head is highly streamlined and the eyes are small. The common sandfish is a small lizard with a light yellow or tan dorsum with brown horizontal bands, which are darker in the male. Adults are approximately Most skinks will readily tame down with patience and frequent gentle handling. Skinks have powerful mouths and are capable of inflicting a painful bite.

Captive Environment: House them in 2-4" of clean sand to encourage their natural burrowing instinct. They seem to do well in calcium carbonate sands. If decorative succulents are used, they will have to be planted in small pots to avoid dislodgement. A pair of sandfish may be housed in a 10 to 20 gal. aquarium. A screen lid is essential for proper air exchange. The enclosure must include a basking area, a suitable hiding area, and a "cool" area to allow for thermoregulation.

Temperature: Ideal daytime temperature should be between 80 and 85 degrees. Night-time temperature should remain between 70-80 degrees. A basking area should be created on one end of the enclosure to maintain a local temperature of 95-110 degrees to promote feeding. There are several methods for establishing the proper temperature range for your reptile. Using spotlights of variable wattage incandescent bulbs on the outside of the enclosure, under tank heaters or heat rocks or any combination of these.When using spotlights for 24 hour heat use red, night bulbs or a ceramic heating element to maintain day / night light cycle. Never place lights inside the enclosure where the reptile could come in contact with them and get burned. Use a thermometer to ensure proper temperature range is maintained.

Lighting: Full-Spectrum lighting that emits UVB is a must for captive reptiles. Reptiles depend on ultra-violet light to synthesize vitamin D3, which regulates calcium absorption in the intestine. The light should be positioned less than 18" from your pet for maximum effect. Glass blocks ultraviolet light, and air circulation, therefore it should never be used as a top for the enclosure. A 12- hour day/ night lighting cycle is a good start for your pet reptile. Using a timer is the best way to ensure that the proper amount of light is received. They are under the sand most of the time when not feeding.

Food: Sandfish skinks are insectivorous (diet consists mainly of insects). . Feeding a diet of a variety of insects such as crickets, mealworms, superworms and waxworms is recommended. The larger animals can also ingest "mondo" or superworms (Zophobus). As with most desert lizards, dust or gut load the prey with a vitamin supplement once a week and a good calcium or multi-mineral supplement several times weekly. Adult skinks should be fed 3-4 times per week, some juveniles can be fed twice daily during their growing period.

Water: A shallow bowl of de-chlorinated water should be provided. Change water every day. change more often if the water appears dirty. The humidity for these skinks should be maintained at 25 percent or lower.

NOTE: This care sheet is a general guide, to learn more about your pet consult a book about it.