Blue-tongued skinks are native to Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania.
Blue-tongued skinks inhabit semi-desert, mixed woodland, and scrubland areas.
Blue-Tongued skinks are omnivorous eating other animals as well as plant material. Specifically, they feed on a variety of small creatures such as insects, other reptiles, and some plant matter. Captive studies show that one of the best food sources is high quality dog food, which contains added vitamins and minerals, also they adapt well to vegetables such as collard greens, turnips, and dandelions. Blue-tongued skinks are diurnal (day-time) feeders.
These lizards have a long blue tongue that is used in defensive displays where the bright color acts to warn potential predators of danger characterizes the blue-tongued skink.
The Blue-Tongued Skink is ovoviviparous, which means the offspring develop in eggs that are retained and hatched inside the mother’s body. The mother then gives birth to live young. Blue-tongued skinks usually have 10 to 15 babies for each reproductive cycle.
Blue-tongued skinks are docile lizards that rarely show aggression. They are shy and secretive and seldom stray far from their shelters, which consist of hollow logs and debris. The most peculiar behavior is the use of their bright blue tongue. When disturbed, it gapes its mouth open and sticks out its blue tongue, puffs up its body and hisses loudly. Again, this is a defensive behavior. By puffing out its body this helps the animal look larger than it really is, and the blue tongue is a warning that this animal may be toxic or dangerous. Another behavior possessed by the blue-tongued skink is the ability to lose, and eventually regrow, its tail during a confrontation. Some biologists believe that blue-tongued skinks are a mimic of the venomous death adder. With coloration that resembles the venomous death adder, predators are much more likely to leave these skinks alone.
IUCN Red List: No special status.
Australia prohibits commercial export of most wildlife (including lizards), and the pet trade stock would necessarily need to be captive-bred.
Abbey, D. 2000. “Tiliqua scincoides” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed December 20, 2006 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tiliqua_scincoides.html.