Do Skinks Make Noise?

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Like most (but not all) animals, skinks do indeed make certain noises to communicate. The most common sound for skinks to make is a hiss or a nose blow/huff. They are typically pretty quiet critters, but with a little know-how, you can learn to understand your pet skink!

Do Skinks Make Noise?

Skinks are quiet animals, unlike some lizards (such as the positively chatty gecko).

They do make a few small sounds, however. These can be to indicate discomfort or simply because and include hisses, nose blows, and more.

You can learn to differentiate between the sounds and their meanings easily, you just need a bit of know-how!

What Kind of Noise Does a Skink Make?

Skinks are noisy
Noise skinks

1. A Hiss

The most common noise a skink will make is a hiss, which can mean a couple of different things depending on the skink.

You can pay attention to your individual skink in order to learn to tell the attitude behind the hiss (and whether it’s a sign of distress or simply a sigh).

Oftentimes, skinks will hiss if they are picked up too quickly, or if they have been startled somehow.


Be Careful: If a skink hisses at you, it means that they’re feeling threatened and that you should take a step back!


2. A Nose Blow or Huff

The next most common thing you’ll hear from a skink is what sounds like a nose blow or huff.

Usually, this is merely a sigh but if it is vehement enough, it could indicate some sort of distress or annoyance.

For example, your skink could need some space or to go back to their quiet tank!

An exception is if you have new bedding and it’s caused your skink to sneeze or snuffle.

Usually, this is perfectly normal. The exception is if they are doing it a great deal, and/or if nasal discharge is included along with it.

This could be an indication that your skink needs veterinary attention and medication, as they’ve become sick!

3. Claw Scratches on the Tank

Sometimes, you may hear the scratch of your skink’s nails on the tank.

This can be quiet and unobtrusive, or downright scary (think nails on a chalkboard).

It’s okay – and even important – for your skink to have claws, but you’ll want to keep them trimmed and in good condition.

This will keep them the most comfortable, and also help them move more quietly about the tank!

Other Ways That Skinks Tell You How They Feel

Most animals use nonverbal communication a great deal.

Skinks are not an exception to this, and there are some physical tells that will clue you in to how they feel.

Feelings you can notice with skinks
Skinks feelings

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure at first; in time, you’re sure to become more familiar with both general and individual skink behavior!

Refusal to Eat/Drink

If a skink is distressed, it may have a small appetite or outright refuse to eat or drink.

If this happens, steps must be taken to reduce the stress immediately, or your skink’s health could be at risk!

Panting/Breathing Heavy

Skinks may also pant and breath heavily if they are under some sort of duress.

This could be due to agitation, overheating, or fear. If your skink is panting, you’ll want to check that everything is ok!

Unusual Food-Seeking Behavior

On the other side of the coin, a distressed skink may try to comfort itself with food.

This can lead to excessive and persistent food-seeking behavior.


Red Flag: If your skink is displaying extra intensity with food, you may wish to give everything a double check!


Staring Intently

Like cats, skinks tend to stare at whatever catches their interest.

They are curious critters, and if a skink stares at something for long enough, chances are that they will move closer for a better look!

Eyes Closed/Postured Relaxed

It’s not too hard to tell when a skink is feeling content.

They’ll stretch, close their eyes, maybe nap, and generally relax!

How to Help Your Skink Relax

Skink is running around
Skink relaxing

If you think that your skink might be upset, there are some simple ways that you can help them relax.

  • First, you’ll need to identify the stressor! If it’s become too hectic in the house, your skink may appreciate being escorted back to their peaceful tank!
  • Another possibility is that your skink does not wish to be held; set them down and wait until they are in the mood for it.

Make sure there are no predatory pets that could be frightening your skink.

To comfort and calm your skink, you can also try to offer a little treat or snack!

Final Words

So, if you were wondering, ‘do skinks make noise?’ you’ve got your answer!

They do, but they are not particularly loud. The noises you are most often to hear are a hiss or nose blow, or the scratch of their nails on the tank.

Hisses often mean to take a step back!

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