Origin: Southern Desert regions of North Africa.
Most imported specimens arrive from Egypt where
the species seems to be very common.
This medium sized skink can achieve a total length of 7-8” 18-20cm.
This species has long, wedge-shaped snout with a countersunk
lower jaw. Its long
tapered body is covered with smooth shiny scales, its legs are short and
sturdy with long and flattened fringed feet. The tail is
short tapering to a fine
point. The colouration of this species would be considered attractive being
yellow-caramel with brown-black cross bands.
The sand fish it totally adapted
to life in the desert, in it natural environment its a fast moving agile
able to “swim” through the sand with ease.In
captivity this is a fairly hardy species as long as the basic
Firstly it needs a deep 6” + substrate of sand or if
not possible fine beech chip.
Secondly it likes it hot, hot being a very hot basking area.
This reptile has adapted itself to warming up quickly it basks at temperatures
of 125-145°F, that’s hot! The rest of the enclosure should be maintained
at 80-85°F with a ten-degree night drop, no night basking required. As
it only basks for short bursts and spends a lot of time underground it may
be conceded that the use of full spectrum lighting would not be required, however
we use UV lighting with this species. The rest of the enclosure can be decorated
as you like, fake cacti always look good! Water should be provided in a very
shallow dish, this species has been known to drown in 1” of water.
The very bottom on the sand should be maintained only very slightly damp,
can be done by the use of a small tube pushed to the bottom and little water
Due to the shape of it mouth, catching fast moving insects like crickets
prove difficult for this skink. The best food from my experience are small
placed directly in the substrate, wax worms can also work well. Having said
this small crickets and locusts will be really accepted even if their catching
skills don’t look very elegant. This species may also take a small
amount of fruit and blossoms.
Not much is known about the breeding cycle of this species,
once thought to be ovoviviparous it’s now known to lay
3-5 oblong shaped eggs at a time.
Overall this wonderful little skink makes a good study species being active
around midday and early afternoon. It is more showy than you might think and
once warmed up can be very active. Once thought to be a difficult captive species,
with the right
environmental conditions reportedly it is a long-lived species with wild collected
adults thriving in captivity for ten or more years.