Your Top Blue-Tongued Skink Questions, Answered.
Have you ever seen a Blue-Tongued Skink in person? As Emzotic puts it, "they're like the corgis of the reptile world!" These adorable reptiles have some of the most amazing personalities of pet reptiles out there. With their rise in popularity, it's no wonder there have been so many questions about this species. In this article, we will be covering some of the most common questions we received about Blue-Tongued Skinks! For more information about Skinks, check out our Blue-Tongued Skink care guide here!
Why Do Blue-Tongued Skinks Have Blue Tongues?
When threatened, the Blue-Tongued Skink will open their mouth widely and stick out their bright blue tongue. To an unknowing predator, bright colors mean “danger, I am poisonous!” A hungry animal may think twice about their meal choice after seeing a bright blue tongue!
Are Blue-Tongued Skinks good pets?
Blue-Tongued Skinks can make wonderful pets for experienced or confident beginner/intermediate level keepers. Their care is fairly straightforward, and many become tolerant of handling.
How long do Blue-Tongued Skinks live?
Blue-Tongued Skinks have been known to live 15-20 years or more with proper care.
What do Blue-Tongued Skinks eat?
Blue-Tongued Skinks are omnivores, meaning they will consume a variety of both plant and animal matter including meat, insects, vegetables, and fruits.
To learn more about Blue-Tongued Skink diet, check out our Complete Food Guide for Blue-Tongued Skinks here!
Do Blue-Tongued Skinks eat dog food?
Blue-Tongued Skinks are omnivores and eat a variety of different foods. A popular food and easy choice for Blue-Tongued Skinks is wet canned dog food with lean protein like chicken. Variety is important and the key to keeping your skink healthy, so while dog food makes a great addition to their diet, it should not be their only source of food.
Can Blue-Tongued Skinks eat fruit?
Yes, Blue-Tongued Skinks are omnivores and fruit can be included as part of their diet. Since fruits are high in sugar, they should make up no more than 10% of a skink’s diet.
Do Blue-Tongued Skinks need UVB?
UVB is a highly debated topic in the world of Blue-Tongued Skinks. They have been bred and lived for decades without the use of UVB lighting, so we know it is not necessary for their survival. However, Blue-Tongued Skinks are diurnal, meaning they are out in the sun and receiving UVB in the wild. Giving your Blue-Tongued Skink access to UV light will make a more naturalistic environment, helps digestion/calcium synthesis, and promotes overall health.
To learn more about lighting for Blue-Tongued Skinks, check out our Complete Blue-Tongued Skink Lighting and Heating Guide here!
What size enclosure for a Blue-Tongued Skink?
Blue-Tongued Skinks should be housed in at least a 48” x 24” x 18” enclosure. They are an active species that loves to explore and burrow in their substrate. An enclosure that can hold enough substrate for them to burrow in is essential. Whatever enclosure you are using should be able to handle 4-6 inches of substrate, meaning ideally a 6” or taller substrate shield or terrarium lip. We recommend the Zen Habitats 4x2x2 PVC panel enclosure for a spacious home for your Blue-Tongued Skink!
What are the different types of Blue-Tongued Skinks?Indonesian Species:
- Classic Indonesian (Tiliqua gigas gigas)
- Halmahera (Tiliqua gigas gigas)
- Irian Jaya (Tiliqua )
- Merauke (Tiliqua gigas evanescens)
- Kei Island (Tiliqua gigas keyensis)
- Tanimbar (Tiliqua scincoides chimaera)
- Northern (Tiliqua scinciodes intermedia)
- Eastern (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides)
- Western (Tiliqua occipitalis)
- Central (Tiliqua multifasciata)
- Blotched (Tiliqua nigrolutea)
- Pygmy (Tiliqua adelaidensis)
- Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa)
Australian Blue-Tongued Skinks readily reproduce in captivity and are always captive bred. Indonesian Blue-Tongued Skinks are tricky to reproduce in captivity and are almost always wild caught.
Can Blue-Tongued Skinks Live Together?
No, Blue-Tongued Skinks are not social and can become very territorial over their enclosure. Attempting to house multiple blue tongues together can result in severe injury or death. An exception being the shingleback skink, that forms very strong bonds with their mate, and mates for life, and will even care for their offspring.
Are Blue-Tongued Skinks Poisonous/Venomous?
No, Blue-Tongued Skinks are not poisonous nor venomous, though they would like you to think that they are! Their blue tongue is to trick predators into thinking they are dangerous and unappetizing.