bluetongue skinks are some of the most enigmatic lizards of Australia.
Their threat display includes open-mouth lunges with extended blue
tongue. They will also flick their tongue rapidly to scare off a
would-be attacker. There are several species of bluetongue skink within
the genus Tiliqua, which share the characteristic bright blue tongue,
with the exception of the pygmy bluetongue (T. adelaidensis) that has a
pink tongue, and the shingleback skink (T. rugosa) that has a dark blue or black tongue.|
Range: These skinks are wide-ranging area along the coastal areas from the Kimberly region to the southeastern corner of South Australia. There is also a disjunct population in the south of the Northern Territory. There are two subspecies of T. scincoides, the nominant eastern bluetongue (T. s. scincoides) that occurs along the south and east of the range and the northern bluetongue (T. s. intermedia) that is found in the north between the Kimberly and the Lawn Hill area of their range. We work with the latter subspecies.
Habitat: These skinks are found in a variety of habitats, including plains and woodlands. They will often be found under debris. I found two individuals underneath a split log in a freinds back yard.
Natural History Notes: The bluetongue skinks are omnivores, feeding on snails, insects, vegitable matter, and even carion. This is one of the nice aspects of keeping these lizards in captivity, as they can be fed a variety of food items. Their powerful jaws are used to crush snails.
Although these skinks are fairly mild-mannered, their strong jaws can pack a powerful punch and you do not want to be on the receiving end of a bite. For the most part, though, captives are very good pets and are rarely show any defensive behaviors. Juveniles can be fairly defensive, but their behavior is mostly bluff.
General Notes: We work with a selectively bred line of northerns, bred by Andrew Seike, for their orange coloration and light background coloration. There are also other morphs within T. scincoides, including an albino and a melanistic mutation.
Nice orange and light background color on our Sunshine line of bluetongues
A juvenile from the 2013 season
Our adult female bluetongue female
This wild eastern bluetongue skinks showing off his namesake blue tongue
These eastern bluetongues were found underneath AC near Kempsey, NSW