Based on distribution maps, it’s pretty clear that ocellated skinks don’t like to live very far from water. However, looking at pictures of them in their preferred habitat, you wouldn’t guess that’s the case, as their habitat is generally arid, with sandy to stony soil and sparse vegetation. And yet, thanks to their coastal location, there is a lot more moisture in their environment than the pictures suggest. Here’s what you need to know about optimal ocellated skink humidity.
If you look at climate data collected from various locales around the Mediterranean and Arabian peninsula reported by iNaturalist to have populations of Chalcides ocellatus, a pretty consistent pattern begins to form: ocellated skinks like to live in places that are fairly dry during the day, but very humid at night. Based on this data, ReptiFiles recommends the following humidity cycle:
- During the day, the enclosure should dry out to 15-35%.
- At night, humidity levels should experience a spike up to 90-100%.
The best way to re-create this humidity cycle is to mist the enclosure with a pressure sprayer every evening, after lights out, and then let it dry out. This means that it’s important to use an enclosure with excellent ventilation, especially if you live in a humid area. If your skink’s enclosure isn’t ventilated well enough, then it won’t be able to dry out adequately during the day, and things are likely to get too damp for your skink’s comfort.
In addition to creating a natural humidity cycle, regular misting will also help add moisture to the substrate. This is particularly important if you have a bioactive setup, but both of these factors combine to help make sure your skink stays well hydrated.
Humidity levels can be monitored by placed a digital probe hygrometer in the middle of the enclosure.
- Humidity is important to overall hydration
- Humidity should spike at 90-100% at night and dry out to 15-35% during the day.
- Mist the enclosure each evening to increase humidity.
- Use a digital device to monitor humidity levels.
Keep reading about ocellated skinks:
- Introduction to Ocellated Skinks
- Shopping list: Supplies You Will Need
- How to Select and Buy a Pet Ocellated Skink
- Enclosure Size & Roommates
- Lighting & UVB Requirements
- Heating Requirements
- Humidity Requirements
- Substrate Options
- Environmental Enrichment: Decorating the Enclosure
- Feeding Your Ocellated Skink
- Handling Tips & Behavioral Notes
- General Health Guide
- Additional Resources