Sandfish Care Guide

Sandfish (Scincus spp.)

Difficulty: Moderate

Published: March 8, 2019

Last Updated: February 21, 2024

sandfish natural distribution map

Sandfish skinks are a diurnal lizard native to the sandy deserts of northern Africa and the Arabian peninsula. True to their name, sandfish’s bodies are built to literally swim through sand. They prefer to hang out buried in loose dune sand, but will occasionally pop up for prey or to bask.

They are easily identified as a skink by their stout body with short legs, but they also feature a short tail, a long wedge-shaped snout with a countersunk lower jaw, feather-like toes, and tiny black eyes. They are typically 6-8” (15-20cm) long, with a 6-10 year average lifespan.

Like many other lizards, sandfish skinks are insectivores, which means that they primarily eat insects such as beetles. 

Sandfish skinks are exceptionally hardy, easy to care for, and can make a great first reptile — as long as you’re content to have a pet that doesn’t like to be held and is not visible most of the time.

Fun Facts:

Scincus mitranus - Sandfish Care Guide
Contributed by Todd Pierson