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What Is a Schneider Skink?

H. Lo
H. Lo

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.


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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Schneider Skink?

A Schneider Skink, scientifically known as Eumeces schneideri, is a species of skink belonging to the family Scincidae. These reptiles are characterized by their robust, elongated bodies, short limbs, and smooth, shiny scales. They are commonly found in arid and semi-arid regions across the Middle East and parts of Central Asia, thriving in a variety of habitats from sandy deserts to rocky outcrops.

How can you identify a Schneider Skink?

Schneider Skinks are identifiable by their distinctive orange or reddish-brown coloration, with darker, often black-edged bands across their back and a lighter underside. Adults can reach lengths of up to 35 centimeters. Their heads are slightly distinct from their necks, and they have small, lidless eyes, which are adaptations to their sandy environments.

What do Schneider Skinks eat?

Schneider Skinks are omnivorous creatures, with a diet that includes a variety of insects, such as crickets and beetles, as well as plant matter. Their opportunistic feeding habits help them to survive in the harsh environments they inhabit, where food sources can be scarce and sporadic.

Are Schneider Skinks good pets?

While Schneider Skinks can be kept as pets, they require specific care to thrive in captivity. Prospective owners should provide a spacious terrarium with a temperature gradient, UVB lighting, and a diet that mimics their natural food sources. It's important to research their needs thoroughly, as they can live for over 20 years with proper care.

How do Schneider Skinks reproduce?

Schneider Skinks are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs. The breeding season typically occurs in the spring, and after mating, females will lay a clutch of up to 6-15 eggs. These eggs are usually buried in sand or soil and hatch after an incubation period of about 50-55 days, depending on temperature conditions.

What threats do Schneider Skinks face in the wild?

Schneider Skinks face threats from habitat destruction due to human activities such as agriculture and urbanization. Additionally, they are sometimes collected for the pet trade, which can impact local populations. Conservation efforts are important to ensure their survival, although they are currently not listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List.

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