Kenyan Zebra Skinks

How we care for our Kenyan Zebra Skinks…

Zebra skinks should be kept in terrestrial enclosures at least 36″Wx18″Dx18″T and of course, the bigger the better statement applies here.

T5HO 5.0 or 6% UVB across the top. It is preferred to have 3/4 or more of the width of the top spanned with a UVB bulb and fixture. UVB gradient is provided by shade and multiple hide locations. Basking should be accomplished by placing a dome fixture on the side of the enclosure designated to be the warm/dry side. I often use multiple 20w halogen pucks in a cluster or a BR30 65w incandescent FLOOD bulbs for basking.

Lights can be on a 12hr photo period or set to a circadian rhythm. This can be done with several of the wifi timers now on the market. I prefer the TP-Link Kasa units over others.

Leaving all lights off at night is preferred as long as your house doesn’t get cooler than mid 60s.

The side opposite the basking will be the cooler/wet side. I like to place a large plant here. Pothos, philodendron, and dracaena are my top choices. I like to use natural branches under the basking lamp to provide different levels in which they can choose their proximity to the basking bulb.

I like to keep my enclosures bioactive. This can be as complex or simple as you like. Just about any tropical to semi arid substrate will do fine. Ive even had good experiences with cheap top soil from Menards mixed with play sand.

Feeding Zebra skinks is a non complicated affair as they will generally take anything offered. Mine prefer vitamin/pollen dusted and gutloaded insects over all, but also readily accept most commercial omnivore and gecko diets, mineral dusted turkey balls, and wet cat/dog foods.

My pairs are kept together year round and they seem to stop producing for a few months in cold season. Gestation is believed to be just less than three months. Starting in April, up to three clutches of 6-11 babies are born per year but more often two clutches. Often the season ending in November.

Once out, they are ready to take on the world. 1/4” crickets that have been gut loaded and vitamin/pollen dusted are often taken within a day or two of hatching. Babies are removed from the adults enclosure within a couple days and housed together as a clutch and setup identically to the parents. Babies are separated by size into additional enclosures after about a month to keep aggression at a minimum. Baby skinks grow incredibly fast. Proper UVB and diet is a must.

Ive heard many times that Kenyan Zebra Skinks are communal. This may be true, but I don’t leave it to chance when I start seeing adults trampling babies.

Sexing Zebra skinks at a young age is extremely difficult as there is no discernible dimorphism until they are close to maturity.

An adult female. About a month into gestation. They keep their juvenile banding.
Adult male. They develop black faces, and orange/reddish flanks. The once dark horizontal banding turns to a burnt orange color.
This female is a couple days away from giving birth. She appears uncomfortable and has labored breathing.
This is how we setup our Zebra skinks. A front opening 40 breeder with lots of clutter and a large pothos.
Babies only days old. I provide lots of clutter for the babies to hide in and have their own space. Their setup parameters are similar to the parents.
A two month old juvie that we held back as a possible future breeder.