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Austin in Arizona U.S.A.

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:55 pm
by Scincoides
Northern (T. s. intermedia)

Northerns get large, very large. A spacious enclosure is greatly preferred as this species has been known to reach 24 inches in length, with reports of Australian owned animals exceeding that.

Temperatures:
In my Northern enclosures, I shoot for a basking spot near 100°F with the cool end in the high 70’s.

Humidity/Substrate:
Northerns make such great beginner skinks because they are very forgiving of variances in husbandry conditions. In the wild, they occupy habitats with humidity ranging from 20% to near 100% during the wet season. This gives us as keepers a lot of wiggle room in regards to the humidity level that we provide for them. It also allows for a wide range of bedding options. The two most common bedding options for Northerns in the U.S tend to be cypress mulch and shredded/chipped aspen. In my experience, both work very well. Aspen looks great, but is much drier, and sometimes dusty. Cypress retains moisture well without molding, which is a huge bonus if you prefer to keep your Northern with an elevated level of humidity.

Brumation:
Their overall sturdiness allows for options in brumation length and temperature as well. I’ve experimented over the last 4 years and found that they can be shut down during the winter at temperatures as high as 76°F and as low as 48°F without any noticeable negative effects, although 58-64°F is what I prefer, with duration ranging from 4 weeks to 10 weeks. It warrants mentioning though, that they do need to be kept pretty dry when shut down to prevent any chance of respiratory infection.