Cunningham's skink has a long tail with keeled scales along its dorsal surface from the back of the neck down to the tip of the pointed tail. The legs are quite short, requiring the lizard to slide on its belly when it moves around. Its colour can vary from dark brown and reddish to a jet black with distinctive scattered patches of paler scales.
Forests and woodlands with rock outcrops. The species occurs within forests and open woodland which feature rock outcrops.
They feed on a variety of invertebrates such as insects, snails and slugs as well as vegetation such as fruit and leaves.
Female Cunningham’s skinks produce between 4 and 6 live young in late summer. These will usually hang around the parents for several years forming quite close family groups.