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Old 06-12-2006, 10:31 PM   #1
Anyone have success breeding Prehensile Tailed Skinks?

Would love to hear from anyone that has successfully bred these skinks and raised babies. We had our first birth in Jan this year that sadly ended in death 24 hours later. A necropsy showed a defect in the yolk sac. My skinks are breeding again and I want to be as prepared as possible. My Vet felt the yolk sac was a bit large; but, has no experience with PTS to compare it with. My baby's yolk sac was the size of a quarter and got subtrate (cypress mulch) stuck in it. The Mama cleaned it all off by morning and the baby died that evening. I wonder if it ruptured due to Mama pulling on it. I have changed my substrate to a cotton rag rug. I am very excited, but nervous- I look forward to hearing from you!
Old 06-12-2006, 11:52 PM   #2
Contact me by We have been breeding them since 1981. Thanks Ray G. HBR
Old 06-16-2006, 10:35 AM   #3
Brian - LCRC
Hi Karen,

The excerpt Brian & I just posted below is part of a comprehensive book we are writing on Corucia. I hope you find it helpful. You & I talked on the phone not long after the little one died. I wanted to reiterate that I think you're doing a wonderful job! These things just happen sometimes with very few answers or explanations which can be totally frustrating. Hang in there! Your Corucia exhibiting mating behavior now means that the environmental conditions you are providing is a comfortable haven for them. Just think, in about 7 months from now you will have a precious reward for all of your hard work & dedication.

Take care & write or call anytime,

Old 06-16-2006, 07:45 PM   #4
Newborn Prehensile Tailed Skink Info Needed

Sherri, Good to hear from you! I do have a question, how many times will they copulate? I have witnessed 3 times in just one week. Is this typical? Is this triggered by the female and only goes on for a short period of time? What determines multiple births? Are your babies usually born on the ground or up in a stump? Can you describe the yolk sac (what size, how long does it take to go away) When do you handle and weigh the baby? I am very excited about your book! I hope it has lots of pictures. Thanks for the info.
Old 06-16-2006, 09:59 PM   #5
Brian - LCRC
Hi Karen,

Let's talk! So many questions & would love to touch base with you. You can e-mail me at Send your phone # again & I will call you back. I do think your above questions are excellent so I, with the help of Brian, will try to answer a few for the benefit of others here. On copulation, yes they go at it for about a week or two. Not everyday but enough to keep one wondering. I equate it to the female being receptive for this short period of time... kinda like the heat cycle of a female dog for lack of a better analogy. What should be really encouraging to you & soooo cool is that your pair is back at it! On multiple births.... it's like humans. It's a random chance or roll of the dice. There is no pre-determination, as far as I know, on how many babies... Where babies are born?? Normally, for us it's been on the ground floor of the enclosure nearest to water. I'm glad your using the cotton rug!! One day in cleaning you will find your newborn hiding under it. I don't know what it is but all of our babies love these rugs &,it seems, find it a very secure hiding place. The yolk sac is complicated & hard to describe. We'll talk on this issue... ummmm, what else?? We always measure & weigh the baby at birth or as soon as he/she is discovered. After that, the least amount of handling the better so that baby can bond with parents & other members of the circulus. This was the hardest part for me at first. I felt that the baby needed me as much as I needed it in the sense that it feels like it gives you a renewed faith in life about things. Life is life & it's beautiful & Corucia babies are the most adorable little creatures...etc., etc., but... they seem to thrive more with the least amount of handling. They do, however, have a better disposition with humans I think when being captive born. I have no aggressive babies or juveniles. They are so great, can't wait for you to experience it all. Be patient & make sure to make more food available for your female from this point on. I highly reccommend papaya along with all the greens you have been feeding.

Let's talk soon!

Old 06-18-2006, 08:46 AM   #6
I am so glad to see this thread! I have been off the boards for a while to focus on my projects, but its summer again and I have the time to check back in. I haven't heard much from some of the breeders so I'm glad things are going well with everyone. As for me, my 2 breeding pairs have produced a baby each in the last 2 years. You are right about the hands off approach, as soon as I stopped fussing over them is when I had the most success. I also have a pair of twins (CBB 3yrs old), a brother and sister I think, that need to be paired up with unrelated mates. I only have room for one more breeding group, so I need to start looking for a trade I think. Anyway its nice to read the updates, keep up the good work!

Old 06-18-2006, 02:27 PM   #7
Sherri - LCRC
Welcome back Kisha!

It is so great to know that you have been successful with breeding your Corucia. Congratulations! I remember when you first started out. We had an on-going dialogue on a different skink forum &, if memory serves me well, (sometimes it doesn't, LOL!) we were discussing introductions between Corucia of the opposite sex. I still feel that is one of the most nerve-wracking & frustrating aspects of their quirks & behaviors!

From July of last year until December, we had 9 babies born here, including a set of twins. Unfortunately, one of the twins perished in an accident involving a hide. When I figure out how to post pics here, I would like everyone to know & see what this death trap is & to avoid them... I also need to ask Webslave about being able to mention the company that puts this product out & whether or not it's against the rules to get the word out. In any case, anyone interested in having this knowledge can always e-mail me privately at & we can do it that way. The Corucia newborn mortality rate is high enough without something stupid (& PREVENTABLE) like this happening. Anyway, other than the above happening, this has been our most successful 11 months, with 10 more gravid females due from now until Christmas! YAY!

Again, it's wonderful that you're back. Don't be a stranger!

Take Care,

Old 06-18-2006, 06:05 PM   #8
Thanks Sherri, you're right I was desperately trying to figure out my pairs. Obviously I got them right! How wonderful for you to have such successful groups, I can only hope to have so many one day. My babies were both born in winter, one around the new year and one in February. I had no idea either female was gravid before the surprise. I hope I get the same treat next winter. I am having a bit of trouble with a pair of twins that I adopted a couple of years ago. They are being kept in the same enclosure with no others until I determine their sex (here we go again, right). One of them has been thriving and growing like a weed. The other has never been right, he(?) came to me with some shedding problems and lost a toe despite my best efforts and has always been under weight. Like I said they both have the same environmental conditions and the sister(?) has never had a problem shedding. I have checked both for parasites, clear, and both were with my other breeding pair before they started to mature. I have been trying different combinations of foods, probiotics, supplements and humidity levels and have only recently started to see some slight improvement. I even hand feed and water him every day to keep track of what is going in. It is just so strange for these twins to be so different in their needs. Any ideas? I have had him to my vet a few times, despite my vet never having seen a Prehensile Tailed Skink before in his life, obviously not very helpful. This guy is doing OK right now, but like I said before he has never been "right". All others (7) are thriving under my conditions, just not this guy.

Thanks, as always, in advance for any advice.

Old 06-19-2006, 08:51 AM   #9
Sherri - LCRC
Hi again Kisha,

You said you adopted the twins a couple of years ago, I was wondering if you have any idea how old they were when you took them in? Even an approximate guess would be okay or if you recorded their lengths & weights at the time that would be helpful information.

When you mentioned hand feeding, what are you giving him/her? I would like to just make a couple of suggestions & then we'll go from there. One would be to quarantine him briefly. Sometimes, siblings or not, become competitive with territorial issues (especially if your twins are both males). This not only causes stress but the inability to thrive. If you can, quarantine him in a large oblong tupperware with a screened top for ventilation. Put a heating pad, set on low, underneath the tupperware at one end & a container of water (big enough for him to soak in) on top of that particular end. (this will boost the humidity greatly). Of course, on the cool end, place a hide for security. I would also suggest maybe more of a hands off approach with feeding until he settles in & use that to observe whether his appetite, activity level, weight, etc. improves. This will also be helpful for you to observe, not only what goes in, but what comes out!! Consistency, color, get the point!

I also found that if you can provide pothos as treats periodically, that seems to help. My favorite foods for Prehensiles, when they are not thriving as they should, lean towards pea or sweet potatoe baby food sprinkled with a pinch of supplement twice a week. Hydration is also a very important factor & for this I administer fruit flavored pedialyte. As much as they will take!

To be honest, i'm not sure about your little guy but we can try to take it one step at a time starting with the easiest route & then see what happens.

Hope this was somewhat helpful!

Have a great day,

Old 06-19-2006, 01:36 PM   #10
Hi Sherri, thanks for helping out with this one. I've already tried everything I can think of, so a new perspective might give more ideas. I got them the spring of 04 and I was told that they were 8 month old. I can't find where I wrote down their data, I have it somewhere, just can't remember where, I'll have to get back to you on that. I have been thinking that they might be competing for food, and lately I have been more suspicious of that. As for hand feeding, I have been alternating leafy greens with something else (sweet potato, pumpkin, green beans, papaya, etc) every other day. When I put the food in I make sure to see the little one eat for 5 min. before I leave, sometimes he eats on his own sometimes I have to hand feed. Every day I give at least 20cc of liquids from a syringe, or as much as he will take, to make sure he is well hydrated. I will often add things to this liquid such as calcium supplement, vitamins, probiotic powder or baby food "broth". For the last year I have been treating him like one of my rescue lizards, and while his skin condition has improved ( he is now mostly shedding on his own) he remains frighteningly underweight. I will set him up in a plastic enclosure like you suggested and maybe I can get you some additional information. I haven't used Pothos in a while, so thats a great suggestion. I tried once to grow my own for the skinks, but they ate it so fast I couldn't keep up (and I'm surprisingly bad with plants!) Since I have had them, they have both grown considerably, the little one is only slightly "shorter" than the other but he is THIN. I'll see if I can get some pics, although I'm worried that people will think I have been starving him he looks so bad. I'll try your suggestion and let you know what happens.


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