EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR A Fire Skink (Riopa fernandi)
Vivarium: Viv-Exotic 36inch VX36. Available in Beech, Oak, Walnut.
Substrate: Highland Coco Fibre Bedding – Compressed Brick (10 Litre) or Orchid Bark 2-3kg for 3’ vivarium.
Décor: PT-2802 Exo Terra Water Dish Medium (many more to chose from on our site). PT-2821 Feeding Rock Reptile Cricket Feeder(optional). PT-2852 Reptile Hide Out Cave – Medium(many more to chose from on our site). Tree Stump Moss Box. Branches, Rocks and artificial plants.
Calcium and vitamins: Exo-Terra Calcium. Exo-Terra Multi Vitamin Powder.
Distribution: Fire skinks can be found in Guinea, East of Zaire, Angola and Uganda.
Size: Adult fire skinks will reach approximately 10-14 inches in length, with males being slightly larger.
Description: These Skinks are extremely colourful. They have a golden back with a bright black, red and white pattern on the flanks. Fire Skinks have a black and white throat; they have a black tail speckled in white. The scales are very smooth and glossy.
Heavy bodied with short legs.
Diet: They require as varied a diet as you can manage to include. Morio worms, Meal worms, roaches, locusts, brown and black crickets, Silk worms. Offer some fruits and chopped hard boiled egg as well.
Dust food with a calcium supplement two or three times a week and added vitamins once or twice a week. Make sure the Calcium and vitamins are low in phosphorus. Calcium with D3 is recommended.
Water: A shallow water dish is suggested for drinking, bathing, it also helps keep the humidity up.
Housing: These skinks should be housed in a 24” vivarium minimum though a 36” vivarium would be best for one or two skinks. Give plenty of hiding places made of pieces of wood/branches, cork bark, stones/rocks and artificial plants. This will offer the skink hiding places and security.
Substrate: Use coir (coconut fibre) or forest bark and keep it slightly damp not wet. Never allow it to dry out. Spray the substrate daily and maintain a humidity of 70-80% humidity.
Temperature: Fire Skinks require a day temperature of 80-85°F with a basking spot of 90-95°F.
Allow the night time temperature to drop to 75°F.
Heating: Heating can be by either ceramic heaters or Infra red bulbs. I prefer ceramic heaters, both need to be used with the appropriate thermostat and safety guard.
A digital thermometer with an external probe should be used to monitor the temperatures.
A digital hydrometer should be used to keep a check on the humidity levels.
Temperament: Males should not be housed together as fighting will break out though you can keep females together. Only keep a male and females together during the breeding season.
Life Span: 10-20 years
Behaviour: Fire Skinks like to burrow searching for insects and for security. They can be handled and soon become tame with handling. The bite can be painful like a clamp so initially be careful and wear a glove until they become accustomed to you.
They are diurnal, active during the day.
Lighting: The use of a spot bulb as a basking light is required and should be on for 10-12 hours to give them a photo period.
They also require UVA and UVB this helps them to synthesis the vitamin D3, it also stimulates appetite, sex drive colouration and general health.
Sexing: Males are generally brighter coloured; larger and broader headed then females.
Breeding: The Fire Skinks need to be well fed and in tip top condition for successful breeding. Moss boxes should be used and checked daily for eggs also check the rest of the vivarium for eggs that may have been laid elsewhere. The females can lay 5-9 eggs.
The eggs take 40-50 days to hatch in damp vermiculite or moss at 82-85°F.
Eggs may be laid between March and October if the Skinks are in good condition.
A well-fed Fire Skink will be necessary for a successful breeding and healthy babies.
Calcium and vitamins: Add Calcium +D3 three times a week and added vitamins about twice a week.
Two new species of lizard have been discovered in the Pilbara Australia.
The reptiles were found during recent field trips led by the Department of Environment and Conservation, the WA Museum and two eastern state’s universities.
Reptile expert Paul Doughty believes the Mosaic Desert Skink and Northern Beak-faced Gecko are previously unknown and are not found anywhere else in the world.
“When you get out there in a place like the Pilbara you can actually pick up brand new species if you know what you’re looking for.
“The Northern Beak-faced gecko, this is a very cute lil’ fella. He is 6-8 centimetres long, has a very sharp face. They’re red with white pale yellowy spots.
“The Mosaic Desert Skink is a pretty skink with sort of fine checkerboard pattern with yellow and brown along the back and it’s got sort of bands around the tail and a yellowy head and it’s quite a handsome beast.”
The WA Museum says the new species are found in a wide enough area that mining activities should not threaten their survival.
This means that you can add fish to a new pond with relative safety faster.
Simply add powder from the correct number of capsules to the filter media as directed in the instructions and leave the filter running then add your fish.
This does not mean fully stock the pond this should always be done gradually Two or three at a time over a period of a few weeks until the correct number of fish are added. Remember small fish will grow into bigger fish so allow for this when stocking a pond.
The bacterium in the filter breaks down ammonia and other waste products from the fish, so are essential in filters. This is why there are so many problems when starting a new pond up or after filter maintenance.
For a new filter use the powder from 3 capsules.
After filter maintenance of media change use the powder from 3 capsules as well.
One box contains ten capsules.
ValueAquatics Blog Hides for big snakes
If you have a Common Boa or Rock or Burmese Python you might be at a loss looking for a hide for a big snake. ValueAquatics answer is to use a cat or dog bed, simply turn them upside down and hey presto big snakes hide.
They are easy to clean being plastic very strong and durable. They come in four colours Atlantic (light) Blue, Burgundy, Dark Grey and Navy Blue.
The sizes available are from 38cm (15”) up to 90cm (36”) to suit most of the bigger snakes.