​Blue Tongued Skinks!

Have you ever seen a blue tongued skink? Blue tongued skinks are larger lizards with very smooth scales, long and stocky bodies, short little legs and a bright blue tongue! They almost look like fat snakes with legs. Their bright blue tongues are used to scare off predators when the skink is feeling threatened but they also double as a cute feature for us pet parents! Blue tongues are a good beginner lizard that we don’t see quite as often as things like bearded dragons and geckos, although they are rising in popularity. In some ways, blue tongues can be more advanced than some of these other pets but in other ways, they are very similar or even easier. If handled often, blue tongued skinks can be very friendly and docile.

Where Do They Live?

Blue tongued skinks are native to Tasmania, Australia and New Guinea. They are typically found in dessert settings but may also be found in other warm and humid places. These skinks like to remain on the ground and they will burrow under ground and in any tight spaces that they can find. In the wild, they don’t come out of hiding very often and they tend to keep to themselves. They don’t eat very frequently and are often looking for the easiest meal they can find when they do eat.

Blue Tongued Skinks in Captivity.

In captivity, blue tongued skinks are easily tamed and quite docile as long as you handle them regularly. When they are not handled regularly, you risk having a scared and potentially aggressive or reactive pet lizard. A scared lizard will be more likely to hide more often and they may not enjoy being handled. Skinks will also become aggressive towards each other when housed together so it is recommended that you keep them in their own enclosures away from other pets. Skinks need a lot more space than some other pet lizards. Because they are ground dwellers, they will require more horizontal space than vertical. Their tank should be a minimum of a 40 gallon breeder but the more space you give them, the happier they will be. The bottom of their tank should be covered in a thick layer of rich soil that can be spot cleaned regularly. The skink’s tank should have a temperature of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the tank but they should have a basking spot of anywhere between 95 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Skinks should be provided with multiple hides in different spots in the enclosure. You will need to supply them with 10-12 hours of full spectrum UVA/UVB light every day. This is necessary to provide them with proper nutrients as well as allow them to properly digest their food.

Diet

Blue tonged skinks are omnivores meaning that they eat both meat and plants. In the wild, blue tongued skinks may scavenge for things such as dead animals and feces of other animals. They will also eat insects such as beetles, crickets, worms, woodlice, ants and grasshoppers. They will also eat snails, slugs or really any other small animals. In the wild, they will look for plants like leaves, flowers, weeds and berries. In captivity, skinks can be fed a variety of insects including dubia roaches, superworms, mealworms, BSFL, wax worms, silk worms and crickets. Skinks can also be fed meat such as chicken, beef and turkey. They can be fed raw meat or it can be cooked. Although other protein sources can be offered occasionally, the skink’s main protein source should always be insects. Another common treat for pet skinks is eggs! Chicken or quail eggs can be served raw, cooked or boiled but should be given in moderation due to their high fat content. As for vegetables, they can be fed a huge variety of things! Skinks love things like carrots, corn, collard greens, kale, basil, green beans, cilantro, bell peppers, endives, berries, apples, pears and melons.

Overall, blue tongued skinks can make great pets for someone who is educated and prepared for the responsibility of owning a reptile. They are relatively easy to care for and can be socialized to become a great part of any family. Their food is readily available and their enclosure is easy to maintain. With their cute faces and stunning blue tongues, they are hard to resist! Would you keep a blue tongued skink as a pet?