Prehensile-Tailed Skink

Corucia zebrata

Scientific Name

Prehensile-Tailed Skink:  
Corucia zebrata

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

The prehensile-tailed skink is native to the Solomon Islands.

Natural Habitat

Found in the tropical rainforest, this skink spends little or no time on ground. Its large powerful claws and long prehensile tail enable it to cling to trees.

Physical Characteristics

  • This reptile has thick, strong legs, a muscular body and a large prehensile tail. Its head is large and flat with small eyes. It also has a powerful mouth with a short tongue that is broad, flat, and fleshy.

Quick Facts

  1. As a nocturnal animal it relies heavily on its sense of smell.

  2. The father of a prehensile-tailed skink will defend its baby—something unusual in the reptile world.

  3. They tend to use their tail just as many South American monkeys do—as a fifth limb.


Amphibian and Reptile Center

Conservation Status

Near Threatened: The Prehensile-Tailed Skink survival of the wildlife in the wild is affected to an extent that the wildlife is in danger of becoming vulnerable or endangered in the near future.

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Nocturnal and herbivorous, the corucia zebrata feeds primarily on leaves of the Solomon Island creeper plant. At the Zoo, this skink is fed a steady diet of greens, vegetables, fruits, and hard boiled egg whites, with a vitamin supplement.