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What Is a Schneider Skink?

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  • Written By: H. Lo
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2016
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A Schneider skink, or Schneider’s skink, is a reptile that is also referred to as the dotted skink. Sometimes, this animal is also known as the Berber skink, although in actuality the two are different species of skink that belong in the same genus. A Schneider skink is native to dry scrublands, grasslands and semi-deserts of northwestern Africa and the Middle East. It is a territorial creature that eats insects, sheds and digs burrows. Since the skink’s natural environment is a hot, dry one, the skink will use the burrow to hide in during various times of the day when the weather is too hot, but it will come out when the weather cools down.

Brownish-grey in color, the Schneider skink also exhibits orange or yellow spots on the top of its body. The bottom of the skink though, is lighter in color and does not display any particular spots or patterns. Along its sides is an orange or yellow line that runs the length of the body from its ears to about the base of its tail. The body itself is long and covered in smooth scales, with some scales even covering the ears to keep them protected from sand during burrowing. The overall tubular shape of the skink actually makes it hard to see the neck, as the body gradually tapers off towards the pointy head.

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It might be difficult to distinguish between a male and a female Schneider skink, although there are some general physical differences between the two. Firstly, a male skink is usually bigger in size than a female, although not always. In addition, a male skink usually displays brighter colors, such as on the lines running along its sides. Also, a male skink tends to have a bigger jaw, broader head and thicker tail than its female counterpart. Another physical difference is that a female skink tends to have a rounder body.

In general, Schneider skinks mate in the months of April and May, and the female usually lays between one and five eggs. If these eggs are fertile, they will hatch anywhere between seven and 10 weeks. Baby skinks are small in size but, if healthy, they will naturally grow in size as they age. An adult Schneider skink ranges from 10 to 18 inches (about 25 to 45 centimeters) in length. The lifespan of the skink is usually between eight and 15 years, although in captivity, it can live up to 20 years.

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