What Do Skinks Eat? What Food Do They 'Skink' Is Splendid?7

Martha Martins
Oct 13, 2023 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Nov 10, 2021
Five lined skink on wood.

The nutrition of a skink is primarily determined by what is available.

Skinks are lizards from the Scincidae family, which is part of the Scincomorpha infraorder. A skink's food in the warm months consists primarily of grasshoppers, beetles, bees, crickets, and beetle larvae while the reptile would also forage for fruit, birdseed, nuts, and pet food throughout the warm weather and the wintertime when food is limited.

The Scincidae family is one of the most varied lizard families, with over 1,500 known species spread over one hundred taxonomic groups. Garden skinks are the world's second-biggest species of lizard, behind geckos, although their environments vary greatly.

A considerable level of variety in nutrition happens as a result of such environmental fluctuation. A captive skink has an average lifespan of somewhere between 15 and 20 years, however, some have been known to live for more than 32 years.

Skinks species bred in captivity, namely the Australian blue-tongued skink, are omnivores, seeking to consume both live food and plant materials to obtain the vital nutrients they require. A skink, like any other lizard, has the ability to bite.

Their bites, however, are exceptional and rarely occur out of the blue. They will bite you only if they are provoked. Skinks are not harmful and are considered low-risk pets.

They are not harmful or toxic to people. A skink makes an excellent family pet and is good to have around as a pet for both children and adults.

Now let’s find out more about what do skinks eat. Afterward, be sure to check out our articles which reveal the answers to are skinks poisonous and why do lizards do push-ups?

What do skinks eat in the wild and as pets?

Reptiles like to eat insects, and for the majority of them, this is their principal food source in their wild habitat. Insects like flies, grasshoppers, slugs, cockroaches, beetles, earthworms, millipedes, caterpillars, centipedes, crickets, snails, mosquitoes, eggs, and many other species of insects fall into a skink’s diet.

So what do skinks eat in the wild, and does their diet vary if they are kept as pets?

A sink is classified as a carnivore as well as an insectivore, however, they have been observed eating plant materials in a few instances. There have been several occasions when skinks eat their own young due to a lack of food.

Skinks eat meat, although not as much as insects.

If a wild skink can't locate another food source, they tend to resort to small and immature rodents. Mice are a highly satisfying treat for bigger skinks, but mice are also one of the most prevalent kinds of flesh they devour.

Only a few skink species are omnivores, capable of eating around 60% of vegetation and 40% of insects for healthy existence. Even so, a skink will generally only consume this ratio if it is in captivity and its vegetables are prepared rather than uncooked.

Pet skinks tend to get calcium deficient, which generally results in cannibalism. Bone meal is one of the greatest supplements to provide to nutrient-deficient skinks; prior to actually feeding your skink insects, lightly dust them with bone meal.

Wild skinks species prefer to eat what is readily accessible in their environment. Numerous wild skinks prowl around your garden or homes, looking for insects drawn to your outside lights. A skink may graze on the vegetables in your garden, although this is uncommon.

How To Feed Skinks

Skinks, both the newborn and young lizards, should be fed as much as they can each day. Adult skinks thrive on one to two feedings each week. Blue-tongue skinks must have their food consumption controlled or they will grow fat.

Prior to actually feeding your pet, correctly identify the skink species. You must determine whether your lizards are omnivore, carnivore, or insectivore. When you've determined the species, make sure you understand exactly what the food ratio ought to be for the right nutrients.

Skinks under a month old should be fed on a daily basis. Skinks between the ages of one and six months should eat every second or even third day. Skinks six months and older must eat once or twice per week.

Once per week, overweight skinks can eat relatively small, nutritious meals with more greens and reduced protein. Also, remember to not give them a treat. For tough vegetables like squashes and parsnips, consider using a cheese grater or food processor to prepare them.

Vegetables and leaves aren't as attractive as protein or fruit, therefore, cut them small and combine them with other dishes. An adult skink's diet should consist of 45-60% freshly crushed fresh greens and varied vegetables.

Feeder insects and crickets should become the primary sources of food for your skink. Occasionally, you can give your skink worms like king worms and maybe even mealworms.

Ideal Skink Diet

An ideal skink diet is an amalgamation of plant matter and meat in the right ratio. These lizards have slower metabolisms and require less food than mammals.

A skink will not always consume the prescribed quantities. When a skink is not eating or just eating its favorite insects, it may well be overfed; a fussy skink is not really a starved skink.

Greens like arugula, basil, beet greens, bok choy, chicory greens, collard greens, dandelion greens, green cabbage, kale, mustard greens, red cabbage, red leaf lettuce, romaine, turnip greens, and watercress are healthy choices which can be fed to skinks.

In addition vegetables like asparagus, beets, red and green bell peppers, capsicum, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumber, green beans, green peas, mushrooms, okra, parsley, parsnips, sweet pumpkin, radicchio, radish, squash, acorn squash, pumpkin squash, Hubbard squash, scallop squash, spaghetti squash, summer tomatoes, and turnip should account for roughly 50% of an adult skink's eating plan and 40% of a juvenile's food.

Fruits like apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, and cranberries are good choices. Other fruits like fig, grapes, guava, honeydew, kiwi, mango, nectarines, papaya, peaches, pear, pineapple, plums, pomegranate, raspberries, star fruit, strawberries, and watermelon are very good to be included for an ideal, healthy diet.

Fruits should be given as a treat to your skink.

Proteins like butter worms, beef (lean and ground), canned cat food and dog food, cooked chicken breast, chicken liver/heart, cockroach, crickets, earthworms, silkworms, snails, super worms, and wax worms are many of the carnivorous options that could be included in an ideal. healthy diet for your skink.

What nutrition do skinks need?

Skinks, as previously said, require 60% plant matter and 40% insects to live a long and robust life. All products supplied ought to be fresh, of good quality, appropriate for human use, and free of pesticides.

Skinklets, or baby skinks, eat the same things as adults, but in smaller bits and quantities. Baby skinks as well as adults must consume their meal whole.

The dietary requirements of this species, like those of humans, fluctuate as they develop. As skinks are omnivorous, the real key is to provide them with as wide a range of meals as possible.

Baby skinks, less than a year old, require 70-80% of their food to include protein followed by small amounts of fruits. An adult skink must receive around 50-60% protein.

When baby skinks do not consume enough protein, their scales might become distorted, a condition termed as pyramiding.

When adults consume excessive protein, they may gain weight and their kidneys may begin to fail. Choose canned food instead of kibble (although kibble is fine if water is sprinkled on it periodically), and refrain from feeding your skink formulas with artificial colors or flavors and fish.

Grain is OK for your skink to be fed as long as the formula is of excellent quality and does not include an excessive amount of carbs.

Do skinks need live insects to eat?

A Skink's typical diet isn't necessarily the healthiest, yet they eat to survive. A diet for a skink in captivity should be diversified, and with this diversity, you'll have a skink that is considerably healthier than its wild counterparts. As a result, your skink will live a longer and better life.

Skinks prefer to eat insects. Some pet or captive skinks have been raised to eat dead insects and worms, although they like fresh food. Skinks are natural predators so always check to see whether the prey is still alive as skinks will just not eat insects that they cannot prey on.

Toxic Food For Blue-Tongued Skinks

The Australasian genus Tiliqua comprises some of the biggest members of the skink family, including blue-tongued skinks species. In Australia, they are known as blue-tongued lizards, blue-tongues, or simply blueys. Blue-tongued skinks are omnivores, meaning they can eat a wide range of proteins as well as vegetables.

Toxic foods for blue-tongued skinks include avocado, eggplant, potatoes, rhubarb, onion, buttercups, and tulips as these should be avoided at all times. Blue-tongue skinks must also not eat fruits like oranges.

Avoid all citrus fruits, including lemons, clementines, tangerines, limes, kumquats, and others. You must not feed your blue tongue skink any fish. Fish contains a lot of natural fat and salt, and it can also have a lot of heavy metals in it.

The majority of the time, a blue-tongued skink refusing to eat is due to a problem within its supplied cage. It's usually a good idea to double-check that the temperature and pressure in the basking area are correct.

The problem might also be caused by a parasite.

Internal parasites in reptiles are common, although in small quantities, like pinworms, they are not considered dangerous. It's worth mentioning that blue-tongued skinks frequently go off food while on prescribed medicine, and this can continue for a little while even after the course of medication is finished.

Is dog or cat food okay for blue-tongued skinks?

Due to its high protein level, cat foods are excellent for a young skink, but after your skink reaches the age of a year, it's time to move to dog food. Dog foods are higher in veggies and less prone to promote obesity.

Several blue-tongued skink caretakers swear by the benefits of dog and cat food. If you must use it as part of a diversified diet, choose only no grain, low carbohydrate products, as skinks have difficulty digesting grain and carbs.

While comparing dog and cat diets, dog foods are similar to a skink's traditional diet because they have additional veggies and other ingredients. Vegetables, however, are not added to cat foods.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what do skinks eat, then why not take a look at the best pet lizards or skink facts?

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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