Fun Rainbow Skink Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
Apr 28, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi
Rainbow Skink facts for kids.

Have you seen this little brown-colored creature in your garden disappear under the vegetation? Are you wondering whether it was a tiny lizard or a snake?

If you are native to Australia or Africa or stay in New Zealand, you might have a fair idea of what it was. Here in this article, you can find out more interesting facts about a skink, particularly a Rainbow skink, that is a native of Australia.

Did you know this Rainbow skink has multiple names? Let us list them: Plague skink, Garden skink, Delicate garden skink, Dark flecked garden sun skink, Delicate skink, Rainbow rock skink, and Metallic skink. That's rather a lot of names!

And yes, if you find some hundred eggs in a nest, do not wonder how this tiny thing can lay so many eggs. The fact is these Rainbow or Plague skinks share their nesting sites, and if you just saw one around, be sure there are many of them together in the range.

Find out more interesting facts about the Rainbow skink in this article, and ensure you enjoy going through our other reptile articles on the king cobra and milk snake.

Rainbow Skink Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Rainbow Skink?

Rainbow skinks (Lampropholis delicate) are very small native skinks of Australia, also known as the Plague skink. There are two other species of African Rainbow skink. One is Trachylepis margaritifera, also known as Rainbow mabuya, and the other one is Trachylepis quinquetaeniata, also known as Five-lined mabuya.

What class of animal does a Rainbow Skink belong to?

Over 1,500 species of skinks in the world belong to different subfamilies and different genera with different body weights. It belongs to the Reptilia class of the Scincidae family. The scientific name of the Rainbow or Plague Skink is Lampropholis delicata.

How many Rainbow Skinks are there in the world?

No particular data is available on the populations of the Rainbow skinks. But they are found in abundance in their habitat range.

Where does a Rainbow Skink live?

A Rainbow skink or a Plague skink are native skinks of Australia. They were first observed in Auckland, New Zealand, in the 1960s.

What is a Rainbow Skink's habitat?

Rainbow skink prefers moist habitat regions with lots of under vegetation, litter, and plants. They are also known for sheltering under rocks and logs.

Who do Rainbow Skinks live with?

Rainbow skinks are seen together in small to large groups because they share their habitat range with other small insects, which prefer moist vegetation.

How long does a Rainbow Skink live?

The average lifespan of a Rainbow skink is about six years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

Not much is known about the breeding of Rainbow or Plague skink. Like most other skinks, this particular species of Rainbow skink lay eggs. The females lay anywhere between 3-10 eggs in a brood and breed three times a year.

Females share their nests, and you can find about a hundred eggs in them. The eggs may belong to more than 10 lizards.

The eggs hatch on their own, and the young ones are on their right after birth. Adult males or females do not participate in rearing the young ones after breeding. But there are few species of skinks in which adult females give birth to their young ones.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN Red List, the conservation status of a Rainbow skink is Least Concern.

Rainbow Skink Fun Facts

What does Rainbow Skinks look like?

Rainbow skinks are very much similar in appearance to lizards. However, they have smaller bodies than the native skinks. The body has smooth scales all over it and a prominent scale on its head.

The side and back are dark brown alternating with dark and pale flecks, and a very narrow yellow-cream stripe is found on the edge of the brown back. The scale is prominent in adult males.

Not all but a few skinks have a rainbow-colored shine on their skin in the sunlight. Look at their head. If the skink has one large scale, then it is the Rainbow or Plague skink, and if it has two smaller scales, then it is a New Zealand native skink.

Rainbow Skink.

How cute are they?

Rainbow skinks are tiny reptiles resembling lizards in the body structure with a large scale on their head. They are adorable creatures, but again few people may be skeptical about this.

How do they communicate?

Not much information is available on how the skinks communicate. But they most often sense danger through vibrations through their body and get alert. For example, they make a hissing sound, flatten their body or puff themselves up when feeling threatened.

How big is a Rainbow Skink?

The length of a Rainbow skink is between three to four cm. They are smaller than the native skinks of New Zealand. But in general, skinks are found in larger sizes as well. Their head is comparatively larger than others in body weight ratio.

How fast can a Rainbow Skink run?

The exact information on the speed at which these Rainbow skinks run is not available. However, sometimes their locomotion resembles that of a snake and sometimes lizards.

How much does a Rainbow Skink weigh?

Rainbow skinks are tiny creatures that do not weigh more than a few ounces. They weigh just between 0.02-0.05 oz (0.75-1.65 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no particular term for males and females of Rainbow Skinks based on their gender.

What would you call a baby Rainbow Skink?

A baby Rainbow skink does not have any specific name, but they are just called juveniles.

What do they eat?

Adult Rainbow skinks relish various insects as their food, like small invertebrates living on plants, and eat smaller lizards. Thus, they are more insectivores than carnivores. Young ones, of course, eat little creatures found under vegetation. Although a few species of skinks eat baby birds, Rainbow skinks do not generally eat baby birds.

Are they poisonous?

No, Rainbow skinks are not poisonous. Maybe because of their little resemblance to snakes, multiple superstitions surround these little skinks. The skinks do not sting you, but yes, these tiny creatures may bite you if they feel provoked.

Would they make a good pet?

If you want a small reptile as a pet, maybe you can have a skink for a pet. The right size of tank for the skinks to roam and the proper setup for them to hide with enough nutrient-rich substrate is all that is needed to have a skink as a pet.

It is always good to buy one from your local pet store and gain a thorough knowledge of Rainbow Skink care.

Did you know...

Skinks are cold-blooded, and their bodies depend on the sun's heat to warm up. That is why basking in the sun is essential for their survival.

The Rainbow skink has a large scale on its head, whereas the New Zealand native skink has two smaller scales on its head.

How do I get rid of Rainbow Skinks?

The Rainbow skink is also called the Plague skink. They are invasive and are considered a threat to native skink populations. The best possible way to get rid of this brown-colored Plague skink is to keep the place clean.

Wipe away the bugs, eliminate water, and remove any crawling and hiding places. Set up skink pest repellent. Once done with all five steps, observe and repeat the steps regularly as a few of them are very invasive species and continue to infest the place.

So to say whether to have a skink around is good or not is tricky because some non-invasive species are not a threat to native species and are excellent pest controllers at your place if you have plants.

Do skinks lose their tails?

Yes, skinks may lose their tail. They drop their tail to avoid getting captured by any chasing predator, just like lizards. It is a defense mechanism.

And this process is called autotomy or self-amputation. The detached tail continues to wriggle to distract the predator. Fascinating, isn't it? The loss of the tail is not fatal.

The wound is flapped around by the skin immediately. The skinks can regrow their tail in about a year. But of course, they have to spend a lot of energy in the process of regrowth of their tail.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles, from our boa fun facts and worm snake.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable rainbow skink coloring pages.

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi

Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Oluwapelumi Iwayemi picture

Oluwapelumi IwayemiBachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Iwayemi is a creative content writer and editor studying for a Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos. He is skilled in research and has experience writing and editing content for different organizations.

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