Scientific name: Eumeces algeriensis
Danish name: Berber ham
Lifespan: 20 years
Distribution: Northwest Africa to West Asia
Legislation: Not protected
Toxicity: Not toxic
The colors are very beautiful, kept in different browns, greys, yellows and oranges. This ham is able to change color, which is not normal among other hams. Before the ham is heated, it is often dark brown or gray with orange spots. When the ham is heated it becomes light on the back but with the same orange spots. This skink can grow up to 45 cm long.
The Berber ham lives in nature where there is plenty of dry sand and bush-rock areas. It will happily burrow into the sand. The Barbary ham is egg-laying, and usually lays 3-20 oval eggs in a moist place in the sand. The female will look after her eggs for 8-9 weeks, during which she will lie around the eggs.
Keep in terrarium
This Skink requires a reasonably large terrarium, L: 120, D: 60 and H: 60 will be enough for a single individual. The bottom layer must consist of coarse sand and reasonable possibilities for hiding. It is important that stones and other things in the terrarium are fixed, as it can burrow under it and have it fall on top of it. It requires a lot of heat, so in the cold end of the terrarium the temperature must be 27-35 degrees and with a heating area where the temperature reaches 50 degrees. The heat must come from above and not from a hot plate or heating stone. A UV tube for desert animals would be preferable to install so that the ham can absorb vitamin D3.
Barbary hams are insectivores and like to take grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches and mealworms, arachnids, snails and like flying insects. Sometimes they like to take sweet fruits like banana, grape and peach. Sometimes raw meat and a beaten egg can be given. All feed must be supplemented with vitamin and mineral powder with extra vitamin D3 and preferably a little extra calcium, especially for pregnant females. The ham must always have access to clean drinking water.
Signs of illness
Dull scales and remnants of old hair are signs of vitamin and mineral deficiency. A thin body with a sunken tail is a sign of starvation and in the case of sunken eyes, a vet must be contacted.
The Berber ham is active in the morning and forenoon when it has warmed up, but towards dinner it will seek hiding as it is often too hot for them in nature at this time of the day. Although it is said that the Barbary ham is a very aggressive lizard, it is sometimes seen that animals in captivity can become very tame.
The animals must have a winter rest prior to breeding. This should last 8-10 weeks at 15 degrees during the day and 10 degrees at night, the day length should be approx. 6-7 hours.
Hatching of eggs
Mating takes place right after the cold period, the parties may possibly kept separate during hibernation. After 5-7 weeks, the female lays 1-2 eggs which she guards tenaciously, she excretes a moist secretion from the sewer that keeps the eggs moist during hatching. It is recommended to remove the male during hatching, as the female is very aggressive and the male will eat her eggs if given the chance. The hatching lasts approx. 90 days, and the young are removed immediately after hatching. However, this is not recommended. When the eggs are seen, they must be immediately moved to an incubator.
The cubs must be kept and fed like the parents, although they may want to be warmer in the terrarium. There is a risk that the cubs will fight, in which case they must be separated immediately.