Giant Solomon Island Skink

Giant Solomon Island Skink


Found on the Solomon Islands.


Mostly tree dwelling.


The prehensile-tailed skink is the largest of the known skinks, measuring up to 32 inches from the snout to the tip of the tail. They can weigh 14-28 ounces. it has a broad, massive head with powerful jaws and small sharp teeth. The body is cylindrical with a rounded tail and small limbs. The scales of Solomon Islands skinks are usually green but are often speckled with light brown or black. The scales on the underside vary from light yellow to different shades of green. The toes on all four legs have thick, curved nails used for climbing and gripping tree limbs.

Giant Solomon Island Skink

This is the only skink adapted to living in trees. Its prehensile (grasping) tail is an adaption to arboreal living - thus it is sometimes called a "monkey tail" skink. Unlike other skinks, it is nocturnal (active at night). The skink is much more active than its large, heavy body might suggest.

The Solomon Islands skink is one of the few species of reptile known to function within a social group or circulus. Both male and female specimens are known to be territorial and often hostile towards members not a part of their family group.


The female produces eggs that hatch within her body and are nurtured there until, after about 6-7 months, a single (rarely 2) baby is born viviparously (live birth) which is rare among reptiles. The baby is 6-9 inches long (almost half the size of an adult!) and stays with the mother for about 6 months after birth.

Interesting Facts:

Solomon Island skinks are one of the few species of reptile that functions as a family unit, with parents working together to defend their territory and their young.

Giant Solomon Island Skink

Prehensile-tailed skink populations have been exploited for the pet trade and extensive logging in the Solomon Islands has shrunk their habitat. Their low reproductive rates leave them vulnerable to these threats.

Did YOU Know?    
Unlike some other lizards, these skinks do not have the ability to regenerate their tail.
Giant Solomon Island Skink
Class: reptiles
Order: Squamata
Family: Scincidae
Genus: Corucia
Species: zebrata
Length: up to 32 inches
Weight: 14-28 ounces
Average Lifespan: 12.5 years
Wild Diet: flowers, leaves, fruits and shoots
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building: Tropics Zone

Learn more about reptiles or animals from Australasia!
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