Peter’s Striped Skink

Peter’s Banded Skinks are small lizards native to the prairies of North Africa. They are relatively rare pets that are rarely bred in captivity, which means that much is still unknown about these lizards. What we do know is that Peter’s Banded Skinks tend to be docile animals that usually tolerate being handled by their owners, making them a great choice for beginners. Keep reading our guide to find out more about this reptile.

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Quick Facts About Peter’s Banded Skink

Species Name: Scincopus fasciatus
Common names: Peter’s Striped Skink
Treatment Level: Low to medium
Lifetime: 15-20 years
Adult Size: 8-10.5 inches
Diet: Omnivores—main diet consisting of cockroaches, crickets, worms, other insects
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Temperature & Humidity 85°F during the day, 75º-80°F at night; basking temperature between 95º-100°F

Would Peter’s Banded Skinks Make Good Pets?

Peter’s Banded Skinks can make wonderful pets in the right home. These reptiles are relatively small and easy to keep in a medium-sized cage of about 20 gallons, making them versatile for a wide variety of households. They are also quite sociable animals that tolerate a good amount of handling and will sometimes even ask their owners for gifts. Overall, as long as you are willing to make sure that your lizard has the living conditions it needs to have a good life, it can be a great choice for a pet.

Appearance

These are small reptiles that grow to be less than a foot in length by full maturity. They are light yellow in color and have black bands running down their bodies. Males tend to have larger and larger heads than females overall, but other differences between males and females have not been noted.

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How to Care for Peter’s Ribbon Leather

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Settings

Tank

As discussed, the tank you choose for your Peter’s Banded Skink must be at least 20 gallons, or 18” x 18” x 12”. They are not strictly climbers and spend most of their time on the ground in the wild, so you should take care to ensure that your lizard has plenty of floor space; height is less important. If you have two lizards, your tank should be twice as long.

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You should plan to clean your lizard enclosure about once a week. When you see clean, you should clean the dirt and remove any uneaten food from the cage. You can also use “janitors” such as beetles or white worms to help keep the cage clean. These bioactive cleaning crews live in the substrate of your lizard’s cage and feed on any dirt or uneaten food. In addition to spot cleaning, you should replace the substrate completely and clean the cover thoroughly every 2-3 months.

Lightning

Peter’s Banded Skink is a nocturnal creature, so it may not be necessary to include UVB lighting in its cage, but it can be beneficial. UVB, or ultraviolet B, lighting is part of the sun’s UV spectrum. Like humans, reptiles are able to make their own vitamin D when they are exposed to sufficient sunlight. Adding UVB lighting can contribute to helping your lizard form healthy bones, especially if your cage is indoors.

Heating (Temperature & Humidity)

During the day, the cooler side of your Peter’s Banded Skink cage should be around 85°F, while the basking area should be at least 95º-100°F. At night, the cage temperature should be maintained at around 75º-80°F

Substrate

In terms of substrate, you can use a mix of soil and sand to mimic the soil this lizard likes in the wild. Make sure the substrate is at least 4-6 inches deep; Lizards don’t tend to hide in logs or other structures, they like to hide in the ground.

Tank Recommendations
Tank Type: 20 gallon glass vivarium
Lightning: Optional UVB lighting
Warmup: 5.0 fluorescent UVB bulb on a 12 to 14 hour cycle
Best Substrate: Mix of soil and sand

Feeding Your Peter Ribbon Skink

Although Peter’s Banded Skinks are omnivores, they usually do not eat fruit and vegetables. Most of your lizard’s diet will consist of protein such as cockroaches, worms, crickets, or even chicken, fish, and eggs. Before feeding your lizard, you should top it off with a multivitamin and calcium supplement. Calcium supplements are especially important if your lizard’s enclosure does not have UVB rays.

Peter’s Ribbon Lizards don’t need to be fed every day, but you should feed them at least every 2-3 days. In addition to feeding, you should also make sure your lizard always has access to fresh water in its cage. Make sure the water bowl is not too big, as lizards are small reptiles and they are not very good swimmers. A bowl of water will not only keep your lizard hydrated, it will also help keep the humidity in the cage.

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Diet Summary
Fruits: 10% of diet
Insect: 70% of the diet
Meat: 20% diet – chicken, eggs, tuna
Required Supplements: Calcium and multivitamins

Keeping Your Peter’s Banded Skink Healthy

In addition to feeding your lizard a complete diet complete with multivitamins and calcium supplements, you should be aware of certain health problems your Peter’s Banded Skink may have.

General Health Problems

Peter’s Banded Skink has not been bred in captivity, so any skink you buy will be wild caught. Because of this, they tend to carry parasites that they catch in the wild. Some of the most common parasites seen in these reptiles are hookworms, coccidia, and flagellates. To check for parasites, you can check your lizard droppings for parasites. Once they are identified, any parasites can usually be treated with medication, given by injection or orally, as prescribed by a veterinarian.

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Lifetime

It is not known exactly how long Peter’s Banded Skinks usually live in the wild, but in captivity they can live up to 15-20 years. Therefore, you should be aware that Peter’s Banded Skink is a long term investment before you decide to buy it.

Breeding

If you are interested in breeding your Peter’s Banded Skinks, you will be a pioneer in this field; Very few of these reptiles have been successfully bred in captivity, which is why they are usually caught in the wild. More information is needed to understand what factors contributed to the successful breeding of these creatures.

Are Peter’s Banded Skinks Friendly? Our Handling Advice

Overall, Peter’s Banded Skinks are friendly animals. However, it may take some time for them to feel comfortable being handled by their owner and they may be aloof at first. You should start slowly while holding your new lizard, holding it for short periods of time and gradually working your way up to hold it for a longer period of time.

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The good news is, they are docile creatures that are unlikely to bite unless you hurt them. When your Peter’s Banded Skink is comfortable enough for you to hold, be sure to fully support them so they feel comfortable.

Shedding: What to Expect

Like all reptiles, Peter’s Banded Skinks molt frequently. However, you may not notice your lizard shedding because they only do it once a year. When you clean your lizard’s cage, you may notice their dead skin on the substrate.

How Much Does a Peter Ribbon Lizard Cost?

If you’re planning on buying Peter’s Banded Skink, you can pay around $70-$100 for a single skink. You can sometimes find these animals at your local pet store, but the best way is to look for them online.

Care Guide Summary

excess

  • Submissive nature

  • Easy to handle

  • Small and easy to make at home

Counter

  • Difficult to breed

  • Requires a highly regulated environment

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Conclusion

Overall, Peter’s Banded Skinks make great pets, especially if you’re new to exotic animals or reptiles. They tend to be docile animals who don’t mind being held as long as you take it slow and give your lizard a chance to get comfortable with you. Be sure to give your lizards a well-arranged enclosure where they can bask in the warmer temperatures during the day and relax in the cooler temperatures at night. If you buy one of these animals, chances are good that you will be rewarded with a friendly reptile that you can enjoy for years to come.


Featured Image Credit: PetlinDmitry, Shutterstock