Origin: Southern European countries, North Africa into southwestern Asia
Most imported specimens arrive from Egypt where the species
seems to be very
This medium sized skink can achieve a total length of 6-12” 15-30cm.
This species has a small pointed head, a thick neck, and a
stout cylindrical body supported by short legs with five-toed
feet. The colouration of this species is very variable; its
glossy scales are grey or light brown with black, with white
The ocellated skink is a fast moving agile reptile at home
in scrublands, grassy slopes, dry sandy arid areas. Specimens
found in Malta, Greece etc are often found behind beaches or
in rocky walls.
In captivity this is an undemanding species requiring only
basic requirements to thrive. Set-ups should include adequate
hiding places, as this can be a quarrelsome lizard, it’s
only advisable to keep one male per enclosure. Substrate can
be sand, beach chip, or orchard bark. For a more natural environment
try sand and large stones for basking, make sure the stones
are placed so as to not fall and crush these highly active
lizards. A basking temperature of 85°F should be provided
with a background temperature of 75-80°F. The use of full
spectrum lighting is required as this is a basking species.
Water should be provided in a shallow dish, and a few times
a week a light spray would be appreciated. Although this species
comes from a fairly dry environment an area of constant humidity
should be provided to help with shedding skin. This can be
provided with slightly damp moss under a hide of bark etc.
Food can consist of all suitably sized commercially produced
live foods, and hedge sweeping. Remember to only collect from
areas you are sure pesticides have not been used. This species
may also take a small amount of fruit and blossoms.
Mating will take place several times a year; the females are
ovoviviparous giving birth to 3-11 young at a time. The young
are miniatures of the adult and should be separated as cannibalism
can occur. Once separated juveniles should be cared for the
same as the adult.
Overall this underated skink can make for a good study species
as it’s daily activities, and open basking makes it fairly
showy in captivity, with the chance of producing miniature
replicas of itself!