Reptiles are becoming more and more popular in America because they have a long lifespan and are relatively easy to raise. The blue-tongued skink is an amazing animal that, as you might have guessed, has a bright blue tongue, but there are tons of other interesting facts you might not know. Keep reading as we take a deep dive to learn as many facts as possible about the blue-tongued skink.
Quick facts about the blue-tongued skink
|Species Name:||t. gigas|
|common name:||blue tongue skink|
|Life span:||15 – 18 years|
|size adult:||18 – 24 Inch|
|Diet:||meat, vegetables, insects, fruit|
|Minimum Tank Size:||20 Gallon Tank|
|temperature and humidity||20% – 40% humidity, 70 – 80 degrees|
Do blue-tongued skinks make good pets?
Yes, the Blue Tongue Skink would make a great pet and is suitable for children. In addition to its attractive blue tongue, it’s great because it doesn’t matter when you handle them, so you won’t have to teach your kids to stay away. In addition, it grows quite large and has a long lifespan. Once you’ve got a habitat, these pets are cheap and easy to keep. It is also very sensible. (1)
There are several varieties of blue tongue skink, and they all have slightly different appearances.
Adelaide pygmy blue tongue skink
You can find this skink in South Australia. Scientists believed it was extinct until the 1990s. Today there are breeding programs in place to help bring the population back. It has speckled colors of white, brown, black, gray and brown. It usually grows to 3.5 – 6 inches tall. (2)
Australian blue-tongued skink
The Australian Blue Tongue Skink can grow up to 15 inches. It is usually brown, orange, black and brown, but can also be found in other colors including pale blue.
blotted blue tongue skink
The blotched blue-tongued skink is usually lighter in color with darker spots, but the pattern can be reversed, leaving the body black with lighter spots. It is one of the largest varieties and can reach 20 inches or more. (3)
central blue tongue skink
The Centralian blue-tongued skink is another large skink that can reach up to 17 inches or more and looks almost plump. It is often bright yellow in color, so it is one of the easier skins to identify.
Indonesian blue tongue skink
The Indonesian Blue Tongue Skink grows to only about 11 inches but has a significant tail that can increase the overall size of the animal to 20 inches. It has a yellowish-orange colored body with black markings which may be bands or spots. (4)
Irian Jaya Blue Tongue Skink
The Irian Jaya Blue Tongue Skink is another large reptile that can exceed 20 inches, but it is extremely rare and probably a hybrid. It can be any of several colors but is mostly brown.
Shingleback Blue-tongued Skink
Shingleback is the warrior of the skink varieties. It has armored scales and a tough and rugged appearance. It’s usually dark brown or black, but you can find them in a variety of colors, and it’s usually a little over seven inches long. It is a hardy animal that stores fat in its tail, so it cannot separate it like other varieties. (5)
Western blue-tongued skink
The western blue-tongued skink has a wide range, but it is a threatened species in many areas, so finding it may not be easy. It can grow up to 15 or 20 inches long and is slow-moving. (6) It has a light-colored body with broad bands of brown.
How to care for a blue tongue skink
|tank type||20-Gallon Glass Vivarium|
|Light||heat lamps that provide UVB|
|Heating||Heat the lamp to keep the temperature above 70 degrees|
|best substrate||depending on the environment|
Housing, tank position, and setup
Some skink varieties are smaller, but most will require a large tank at least four feet long, two feet wide, and at least a foot deep to provide enough room for your reptile to roam. In addition, it will need a screened top so it can’t escape, and the front opening will help you reach the reptile. You can use glass or wood, as both will work well.
You will need to use a heat lamp to raise the temperature in your terrarium above 70 degrees. We recommend a brand that will provide your pet with vital UVB light, which will provide your pet with vital nutrients that it would normally get from the sun. However, you’ll have to replace the bulbs frequently because they stop producing UVB light long before they burn out.
As we mentioned earlier, you will need to keep the temperature in your terrarium between 70 – 80 degrees. Heat lamps are the best way to raise the temperature, and they also provide your pet with a basking spot that he’ll enjoy.
The humidity will need to stay between 40% and 60%. When shedding the skin it has to be facing upwards. It also helps in keeping your skin hydrated. A simple spray bottle will help you control the humidity level. Using a spray bottle to mist the reptile every few hours while keeping a close eye on the ergometer will yield the best results.
The substrate you use will depend on the type of skink you have. For example, desert sinks may want a drier, sandier substrate, while those in wet areas will do better with mulch. Most skinks like to dig, so you’ll want to make sure the substrate is several inches thick.
feeding your blue-tongued skink
Most blue-tongued skinks have a diet similar to that of other reptiles. It will primarily eat insects such as crickets, waxworms, snails, and more. They will also eat fruits and vegetables and are not too picky about what they eat when they are hungry. The small and still developing blue tongue skink must eat a lot of insects to build strong muscles, but once they are fully grown, you can feed them a diet that includes up to 40% fruits and vegetables. Have vegetables.
- You May Also Like : What Do Blue Tailed Skinks Eat in the Wild and as Pets?
|fruit||30% of the diet|
|insects||70% of the diet|
|meat||5% of diet – small rodents|
|supplement required||Calcium Vitamin D3|
keeping your blue tongue skin healthy
The blue-tongued skink is relatively easy to keep healthy as long as the habitat is large enough and the temperature and humidity are correct. Low moisture can cause the skin to stick and be difficult to remove, especially around the eyes.
general health issues
Parasites are a common problem for blue-tongued skinks. This parasite is usually acquired by eating foods that contain them. Wild-caught food is the easiest way to accidentally pass parasites on to your pet, and we recommend captive-bred food when possible.
metabolic bone disease
Another major problem for many captive reptiles, including the blue-tongued skink, is a metabolic bone disease (MBD). MBD occurs when your reptile does not get enough calcium in its diet. This can make your pet’s bones soft and brittle and may even result in the immobilization of your pet. Dusting off insects and other foods you serve your pet with a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement will help prevent the onset of this disease.
You can expect your blue-tongued skink to live between 15 and 18 years if you are able to maintain proper housing. As long as you provide plenty of calcium, these reptiles are quite hardy and have few health problems.
Breeding your blue-tongued skink is as easy as placing the male and female in a terrarium during the spring. The mating ritual may appear violent, and the male may claw and bite the female to help her get into position. However, if you think there may be an injury, it’s best to take them apart and try again with a different partner. If mating occurs and you see that the female is getting bigger in a few weeks, then the breeding was successful, and she will give birth to a live brood.
Are Blue Tongue Skinks Friendly? Our Handling Advice
Yes, the blue-tongued skink is quite friendly and doesn’t mind when you handle them. In fact, frequent handling can help them recognize you, and they will become more relaxed and less likely to take a defensive posture.
Shedding and Brumation: What to Expect
Your blue-tongued skink may shed quite frequently, especially when it is still growing. If you notice your pet rubbing against branches or rough surfaces, it is probably ready to start shedding. We recommend adding moisture with more frequent spraying to help the skin exfoliate more easily. A water dish will let your pet drown itself for even more relief.
How much does a blue tongue skink cost?
You can expect to pay between $150 and $2,000 for your blue-tongued skink, depending on the breed you choose. Indonesian and Australian blue-tongued skinks are more affordable than the Centralian or Shingleback varieties. However, breeders are getting much better at creating captive-bred reptiles, and these pieces are likely to fall in the next few years.
- Read more: How much does it cost to own a Blue Tongue Skink? (price guide)
Care Guide Summary
- humble nature
- like to be held
- a simple diet
- difficult to find
- need a bigger housing
The blue-tongued skink is a fascinating animal that makes a great pet for anyone interested in keeping reptiles. It’s fun to handle and is generally quite quiet, so it’s a great choice for kids. It’s also low maintenance once you’ve installed the housing, and it will only need food and heat lamp replacements in order to live a long life.
We hope you have enjoyed our look at these interesting reptiles and that you have found the answers you need for yourself. If we’ve convinced you to get one for your home, please share this guide to the Blue Tongued Skink on Facebook and Twitter.