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Togo Fire Skink Care

Togo Fire Skink Care

Togo Fire Skink (Riopa fernandi)

also known as the True Fire Skink and Fire Skink

Popularity: Make good pets

Origin: Western Africa

Native habitat: Damp savannah

Size: 10-14 inches

Lifespan: 15-20 years

Appearance: Fire Skinks are beautiful lizards. Their bodies are tubular shaped. They have smooth, gold scales on their back. Red and black bars line the sides on a silver background. Males are generally larger and more colorful than females. They have sharp claws.

Diet: Omnivorous – meal worms, crickets, ants, moths, fruits, vegetables

Activities: They are diurnal, love to burrow and hide, and love climbing on rocks and low branches.

Misc characteristics: Males can be territorial, but otherwise, Togo Fire Skinks are mostly communal.

BASIC CARE

Housing

You need at least a 30-gallon aquarium to accommodate 1- 3 adult Togo Fire Skinks. It needs to be secure and well ventilated. Furnish it with secured rocks, low lying branches, and hiding places. Good substrate for this burrowing lizard is deeply layered sterilized potting soil over a layer of leaf litter. It is best if it provides a moisture gradient, being damper on one side than the other — but never let it become soggy. Mist the enclosure with chlorine-free water to maintain 70-percent humidity.

Temperature

Keep ambient temperatures within the cage between 80 and 85 degrees F. during the day — 72 to 74 degrees at night. Provide a basking area of 90 to 95 degrees. You can use under tank heat pads to provide heat, as well as standard and nocturnal (red) heat bulbs, and ceramic heat emitters. Use a thermometer to ensure the temperatures are right.

Lighting

Provide full spectrum UV for 12-14 hours per day with standard fluorescent UV bulbs or a self-ballasted mercury vapor bulb. The latter can double as a source of heat and ultraviolet light. Make sure the Skink gets 10-12 hours of darkness per day to maintain the necessary day/night cycle.

Feeding

Togo Fire Skinks are big eaters. You can feed them any insect, but earthworms, crickets and mealworms are their favorites. Feed them commercially available insects so as not to risk diseased insects from the wild. Insects should be gut loaded and dusted with calcium/vitamin powder. They also enjoy and need a variety of clean, dry, chopped fruit. Feed juveniles daily and adults every other day. Provide water in a shallow bowl of chlorine-free water.

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