Crocodile Skink

STATUSLeast Concern

COMMON NAME (SCIENTIFIC NAME)Tribolonotus gracilis

DIETInsects of all sorts, especially soft bodied insects like termites

RANGENorthern Papua New Guinea, including off shore islands

HABITATLive along coconut plantations and tropical forests near creeks

Crocodile Skink

Physical Description

Crocodile skinks have dark, armor-like, pointed dorsal scales that resemble a crocodile’s scales and long tails. Their eyes are surrounded by their characteristic orange scales. The average length is 8-10 inches with males having white pores on their hind feet and typically being larger and stockier than the females.


Predators they may encounter include mammals, birds, and other reptiles.


They live an average of 5-12 years.


Family groups tend to include just mothers and their offspring. Females will lay 1 egg at a time and will often curl around it to protect it. She may also display other protective behaviors like biting and vocalizing.

Fun Facts

  • Crocodile skinks tend to be shy and will freeze or “play dead” when they are startled.
  • There are eight different types of crocodile skinks which are all found in New Guinea, Indonesia, and surrounding areas.

Conservation Messaging

In our Reptile and Amphibian (RAD) center you will find many different reptiles and amphibians including venomous and poisonous species of snakes and frogs. Many of these animals fall victim to habitat loss in the wild. Many of the species here are found in South American habitats which are subjected to deforestation, damming of rivers, water pollution, and poor agricultural and management practices.

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