Species group: Skinks
Other common names: Black and Yellow Blue-tongued Skink
Scientific name: Tiliqua nigrolutea
These skinks are found only at the southeastern tip of Australia and into northern Tasmania. They have adapted to living in variety of habitats that has thick leaf litter and other ground cover to hide in.
Appearance / health:
Unlike other blue-tongued skinks the back of the Blotched Blue-tongued skink has a dark back with lighter blotches (rather than bands). Their thick tail has alternating light and dark thick bands. Their head is a lighter mostly solid color. They reach up to 18 inches in length.
Behavior / temperament:
The Blotched Blue-tongued Skink is more reclusive than other blue-tongues. When threatened, they open their mouths and stick out their blue tongues to scare away the threat.
Blue-Tongued Skinks prefer large tanks with plenty of hiding places among plants, cork tubes, flat stone slabs, hide boxes, and hollow logs. A sand or fine gravel substrate is recommended, as well as cypress mulch, aspen shavings, or newspaper. A water container is also a must. They are more tolerant of colder temperatures than most blue-tongued skinks. Day temp: 82-90F; night temp: 64-68F; basking temp: up to 104F; humidity: 30-40%; lighting 12-14 hours, UV radiation required.
Blue-Tongued Skinks require precise temperatures in their cages. When the temperature becomes too cold, they are inactive and slow. When it’s too hot, they are fidgety and constantly burrowing to hide from the heat. Water should be refreshed daily and the cage always kept clean. Under proper care and optimum conditions, Blue-Tongued Skinks have a life expectancy of about 20 years.
Blue-Tongued Skinks are easy to feed because they are omnivorous. They eat insects (grasshoppers, crickets, beetles), snails, and small rodents, as well as fruits (berries, grapes), and leafy vegetables.
Blotched Blue-tongued Skinks produce about 8-10 live young per litter. Juveniles are autonomous at birth and will start to eat after a few days.
great feeders, cute little guy, calm nature, tongue, happy skink, fascination
lazy lizard, different insects, warm place, protein sources
The Perfect Mid-Sized Lizard Pet?
Lizard fans are fortunate indeed that Blotched blue-tongued skinks and their relatives are well established in the trade and relatively hardy (longevity approaches 30 years), as they may be about as close to a “perfect pet lizard” as one can hope for. Both novice keepers and well-experienced breeders can enjoy these calm beauties…even after a lifetime of working with rare reptiles in zoos, they remain one of my favorites.
They do need a bit of space – a 55-75 gallon aquarium, at least, can house a mature adult – but they are well-worth any trouble you might expend on their behalf. While quite calm in demeanor, their “stiff” bodies and glossy, almost slippery scales necessitate care when handling, as they are easy to drop. Otherwise, regular human contact will be taken in stride. Their temperature needs – a range of 78-88 with a basking site of 90 F – are easily met, and humidity should be kept high, but with dry basking sites available. Most appreciate a thick cypress mulch substrate in which to burrow, but they soon give up all pretense of shyness, and focus only on their next meal.
Blue tongues have very accommodating appetites, which makes it easy to provide them with a varied, balanced diet – not often the case with lizards in general! The bulk of their diet - 60% or so - should be comprised of a mixed salad of greens and vegetables, to which has been added a small amount (i.e. 10% by volume) of fruit. Kale, bok choy, dandelion, mustard and collard greens, beets, various beans, squash, carrots, yams, apples, figs, papaya and other seasonally available produce should be offered, with variety being a key point. Animal-based protein can be provided by canned tegu diets, if you prefer, live crickets, roaches, super mealworms, butter worms and wild-caught invertebrates..
From findiviglio Nov 15 2015 1:38PM
Blue tongue not interested
You know, I can say that I was fairly disappointed with this reptile. That is not to say it was a bad lizard, it was just a bad one for me. I couldn’t tell you for sure what I didn’t like about them. I suppose I found them to be a rather lazy lizard, but that doesn’t often bother me. WIth this species, I just felt like they really lacked any appealing aspects to suit my fancies. Would I recommend them as something you get into, possibly. They aren’t hard to care for, they are however in my opinion hard to care about. I really wish this wasn’t the case too, because I have genuinely always had a fascination for them. I just didn’t really appreciate the animal well I owned it, and for that reason I am going to say pass on these guys. It’s very rare that you don’t have any hard opinions on an animal, but when an animal leaves you with the same feeling as a mediocre restaurant, I would have to say take the pass on them.
But for clarity sake, I will say that they are easy to care for, and although they do require larger tanks, they don’t need heavy cleaning. I find they are generally handle friendly, and as such should be handled from a young age should that be your intention, but I still can’t say they are enjoyable to own. Then again, that can be said for almost any animal of any sort..
From ManoftheNorth Apr 7 2014 7:00PM