- Common Name
- Solomon Island skink, prehensile-tailed skink, monkey-tailed skink
- Genus Species
- Corucia zebrata (zebra-like)
- Largest of all skinks with an olive green background with darker stripes vertically on the back, has a grasping tail
- Total length of 75 cm (30 in.), one-half of which is tail
- Approximately 600 grams (21.4 oz.)
- Primarily folivorous, eating the leaves of many varieties of plants
- 6-7 months
- Sexual Maturity
- 2 years or more
- Life Span
- May exceed 15 years
- Solomon Islands
- Primary and secondary tropical forests
- Global: No data
- IUCN: No data
CITES: Appendix II
USFWS: No data
- One of only a few species of skinks that is known to live an arboreal existence, climbing slowly from branch to branch. Solomon Island skinks are also completely herbivorous.
- It is a member of the giant skink family and is only known species of skink with a prehensile, or grasping, tail.
- Gives birth to only one or two extremely large offspring, which may be up to one-half the size of the mother.
- These lizards show a degree of parental care not observed in other lizards; the parents will actually protect the young as well as the territory.
- In defense, the skink is able to make a sharp hissing noise and can deliver a savage bite.
- These skinks are one of the few lizards not able to cast off their tail in defense and later regenerate a new one.
Ecology and Conservation
As with many tropical forest species, the extensive loss of forests is severely affecting Solomon Islands skinks. These skinks rely entirely upon the trees for food and shelter. Their coloring is an adaptation that camouflages them in the dense canopies of these forests to protect them against predation. Because of their low reproductive rates, this species is at risk due to the pet trade and losses caused by predation by introduced species.
Mattison, Chris. Lizards of the World. New York: Facts on File Publications, Inc., 1989
Rogner, Manfred. Lizards. Vol. 2. Malabar, Florida: Krieger Publishing Co., 1994.