Animals / Reptiles

The Emerald Tree Skink

Синонимы и названия на других языках

The green tree skink


Order: squamata

Family: scincidae

Genus: lamprolepis

Species: Lamprolepis smaragdina


The emerald tree skink is endemic to Indonesia.

It can be found in mingled woods and thickly forested lowlands. It is an arboreal species that seldom goes down to the ground. The emerald tree skink lives mainly in abandoned birds’ nests 1-6 metres above the ground. Females only get down in order to lay eggs. 

Внешний вид

The emerald tree skink is about 25 cm long in the wild, and it grows a little less in the captivity. Males are longer and bigger than females.

The coloring makes a great disguise on the background of green leaves. The back of the skink is bright green, the belly is pale green. The snout is sharpened. The limbs are short but strong, with long claws, and this makes the emerald tree skink a perfect climber that can cling to the smallest rubs on the bark.

The scales are very smooth that makes it difficult for a predator to catch this lizard. 


It is an arboreal species with protective colouring.

It can be tamed, then it tolerates handling and can be hand-fed.

The emerald tree skink bites very rarely.

Generally it is a peaceful and friendly lizard.

It is strongly not recommended to keep two males together. They are very territorial so they may injure each other. 

Содержание и уход

The emerald tree skink needs a vertical type or a cubical tank sized 60x50x100 cm. Normally they don’t destroy plants so you can have real plants in the enclosure. You can put drainage to the bottom of the tank and then pot soil about 7-10 cm thick. You can plant orchids, fern, spiderwort, pothos. The soil can be covered with pine tree bark or sphagnum. Your lizard needs branches for the skink to climb and to hide. Grapevine is the best option; you have to avoid coniferous trees since they emit gum which is lethal for the lizards. Another option is to put the plants into the enclosure in pots on the layer of coconut husks or sphagnum. A water bowl is a must (you will have to change water daily).  

It is best to keep skinks in couples or harems (one male with several females). In this case the enclosure has to be bigger.

The ambient temperature should be about 25 degrees at daytime and up to 33 degrees ar basking point on a branch under a heating lamp.

The air humidity has to be in the range from 60 to 70%. You will have to mist your enclosure daily since the emerald tree skink usually drinks drops from plants and walls.

The skink needs light for 10 – 12 hours a day. UV lamps are compulsory. 


In the wild the emerald tree skink eats insects, small spiders and lizards, snails and small frogs.

In captivity the main diet for skinks is crickets. Also you can feed them with cockroaches, flies, mealworms, grasshoppers, superworms. 


It is an easy to keep lizard that is suitable for a beginner.

In danger it can drop its tail. The new tail does not get as long and beautiful.

The emerald tree skink can be tamed; it acts friendly towards people.

This lizard doesn’t require a large enclosure.

This species demands live feed. 


With the right care the emerald tree skink almost never gets ill.

When they lack calcium and UV light, the lizards can suffer from rachitis. The symptoms are distorted limbs, lethargy and bad appetite. This condition can be treated with correct care and injections of calcium that can be done only by a vet. 


The emerald tree skink is an egg-laying species. As a rule, they breed once a year, also in captivity. If a couple is kept together, no stimulation is needed. After mating a female digs a nest in loose soil and lays there about 14 eggs. The incubation period lasts about 69-100 days. New-born skinks start eating when the yolk sac is dissolved. The hatchlings eat small insects: cricket powder, small cockroaches, woodlice. It is better to keep them separately from adult lizards to avoid cannibalism. Mineral supplements with calcium and UV light are a must for good growth.

Average life span is about 7 years. 

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