Like humans, ocellated skinks can become overweight. Generally speaking, this means your skink is likely to resemble a blimp more than a lizard, but even this can be difficult to gauge if you are not familiar with what a healthy ocellated skink’s body condition is supposed to look like. Familiarize yourself with photos of health wild ocellated skinks via sites like iNaturalist and Flickr to form a baseline.
- “overstuffed” appearance
- feeding too often or too much
- small enclosure
- not enough exercise opportunities
- low basking temperature
First, reevaluate your husbandry with the ReptiFiles Ocellated Skink Care Guide and make necessary corrections.
Reduce the frequency of feedings and/or the amount of food that you offer. According to Grimmond et al., offering hard-bodied prey such as beetles increases handling time and encourages the skink to work for its food, encouraging weight loss by slowing feeding.
If your enclosure is below the recommended minimum (30”L x 12”W x 12”H for one skink), then consider increasing the size of its habitat. You can also encourage exercise by adding enrichment items such as cholla hollows, ledges, and other things for your skink to explore. Enrichment activities can also be helpful.
Don’t expect rapid results. For reptiles (as with humans), healthy weight loss occurs slowly!