Blue Tongued Skink – Profile, Care, Facts
Blue tongued skinks make some of the best pet lizards. These diurnal lizards like feeding on snails, thus making them excellent pets for gardeners. Blue-tongued skinks are easy to take care of, and they are also low-maintenance pets.
These lizards make fantastic pets, especially for kids. Blue-tongued skinks have a docile nature. Their nature makes them some of the friendliest pets to keep in your home. Your blue tongued skink is potentially your best pet friend, provided you are willing to take care of this lizard pet.
Kindly continue reading this guide to learn more about the blue tongued skink and how to take care of this beautiful pet lizard.
Blue Tongued Skink Appearance
The blue tongued skink is a huge, diurnal lizard with a long body, a short tail, and short legs. The lizard has a broad triangular head. This lizard has a long and bright blue tongue. The tongue of the blue-tongued skink measures approximately 24 inches.
The upper body of this lizard is pale silver-gray. The blue-tongued skink body can also be brown with bands starting from the neck to the tip of the tail. Female blue tongued skinks are larger than their male counterparts.
Blue Tongued Skink Behavior
Pet blue tongue skinks are less aggressive than their wild counterparts. They are also very docile. Blue tongued skinks are also easily tamable. These lizards are secretive and shy, and they don’t stay far from their shelters.
Blue Tongued Skink Lifespan
The blue tongued skink lizard has one of the most extended lifespans among the lizard family. The lizard can live between 15 and 20 years.
Nonetheless, wild Blue tongued skinks tend to have a shorter lifespan since they are susceptible to prey such as jackals, birds, snakes, and other larger lizard species.
Blue Tongued Skink General Care
A blue tongued skink can be a wonderful pet lizard if accorded good care. Here is a general care and requirement guideline for you if you are thinking of keeping a blue tongued skink at your home.
The blue tongued skink is a reptile like other lizard species. That means that this lizard controls its body temperature through thermoregulation. The temperature in your blue tongued skink’s enclosure should have both a cooler end and a warmer end.
Blue tongued skinks can’t regulate their temperature on their own, especially when these lizards are in captivity since they can’t control their temperatures naturally.
Your blue tongued skink’s enclosure should have a temperature of between 75 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit on the cooler side. The warmer side of your lizard’s enclosure should be between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Blue tongued skink is a lizard that thrives well in semiarid regions. This lizard requires lower humidity levels than other pet lizards, such as the bearded gecko and the spiny-tailed monitor lizard.
The correct humidity levels for pet blue tongued skinks should be between 50 and 60 %. However, some blue tongued skink species, such as the Indonesian blue tongued skink, require higher humidity levels. These lizards require an average of between 60 and 80% on average.
The best way to ensure your blue tongued skink has the correct humidity levels in its enclosure is by using a hygrometer to measure the humidity levels in the enclosure.
Blue tongued skinks hail from warm environments, and hence these lizards struggle with cold temperatures. Therefore you need to keep your blue tongued skink in an enclosure with warm temperatures. It helps to install an enclosure of 4 ft. wide and 2 ft. long.
The enclosure should also be about 2ft high. Ensure the enclosure can lose heat from one of its sides. The enclosure should also have a designated basking spot for your blue tongued skink. The basking spot should provide your pet lizard with a consistent temperature.
Keep in mind that blue tongued skinks are reptiles, and hence they need to bask to regulate their body temperature. Juveniles need smaller enclosures than their adult counterparts.
Blue tongued sinks are basking lizards by nature. Thus, these lizards need adequate lighting to survive. UVB lighting is the best type of lighting for blue tongued skinks. The UVB lighting should provide between 10 and 12 % of lighting to your pet’s enclosure.
In some cases, you need to install bigger UVB tubes in the enclosure, depending on the size of the enclosure. You can also consider installing some heating lamps in the enclosure, especially if you live in a cold region. Heating lamps can provide your pet blue tongued skink with an adequate amount of heat it needs to regulate its temperature.
Although the blue tongued skink is a basking lizard, it occasionally needs to rest in a spot without any lighting. Therefore, ensure your pet’s enclosure has some dark hiding spots for your blue tongued skink.
Blue Tongued Skink Food & nutrition
Food and nutrition are crucial to ensuring your blue tongued skink remains healthy. Therefore, it helps to know the right foods to provide to your blue tongued skink pet. Here, we shall look at the best food and nutrition for the blue tongued skink.
The blue tongued skink is an omnivorous lizard species. Hence, this lizard can feed on both animal and plant matter to get its proper nutrition. A blue tongued skink’s nutritional needs keep on changing as the lizard grows.
Since the blue tongued skink is an omnivorous creature, the secret to providing this lizard with appropriate dietary needs is by feeding it with a wide array of foods.
Blue tongued skink babies need more food than their adult counterparts. Babies should be fed daily, while their juvenile counterparts should eat three times a week. Adult blue tongued skinks should be fed once or twice a week.
The best diet for your blue tongued skink should contain plenty of protein. You can feed your pet with protein-rich foods such as turkey and chicken. Alternatively, you can purchase pinky mice, mealworms, and crickets to provide adequate levels of proteins to your blue tongued skink.
Although a blue tongued skink can feed on various foods, some foods can be toxic to this lizard. Some of the harmful foods you should avoid feeding your blue-tongued skink include spiders, centipedes, monarch butterflies, and lightning bugs.
– Supplements & Vitamins
You can be feeding your blue tongued skink with a variety of foods since this lizard is omnivorous. However, feeding your pet with various foods isn’t a guarantee that it will get all its nutritional requirements.
You should therefore provide some essential supplements and vitamins to your blue tongued skink pet. Some of the best supplements to add to your pet’s diet include protein supplements and vitamin supplements.
You can also introduce calcium carbonate supplements to your blue tongued skink. Calcium supplements are also ideal for growing blue tongued skinks.
Introduce a multi-vitamin supplement to your blue tongued skink at least once or twice per week. Avoid providing your blue tongued skink with vitamin D-rich supplements since these supplements can lead to toxicity, ultimately killing your pet.
Blue tongued skinks need plenty of humidity to thrive while in captivity. You should ensure you provide the proper humidity levels in your pet’s enclosure. The best way to ensure your blue tongued skink pet has access to the appropriate humidity levels is by placing a water dish into its enclosure.
Blue tongued skinks like taking a bath to soothe their skin, and hence providing your pet with enough water will help hydrate your pet. However, ensure the water dish is always clean by cleaning the water dish at least thrice a week.
Change the water every day to ensure your blue tongued skink doesn’t get an infection from bacterial growth.
Blue Tongued Skink Health Problems
Blue tongued skinks are hardy creatures. However, these creatures are vulnerable to multiple health problems. Below are some health problems that are common in blue tongued skinks.
- Bite wounds – blue tongued skinks can bite each other, mainly when they are living in groups. Such bites can result in injuries that can take weeks or possibly months to heal.
- Obesity – blue tongued skinks, are susceptible to obesity like us humans. Obesity usually occurs when the blue tongued skink is fed with fatty foods. Obesity can make your blue tongued skink inactive.
- Cachexia – this condition is common among blue tongued skink. This condition results from poor husbandry. The condition is responsible for most deaths among blue tongued skinks.
Breeding Blue Tongued Skinks
Blue tongued skinks remain alone most of the time. Males, however, pursue females when it comes to the mating season, which takes place in September and November.
Males fight aggressively to mate with females. Females give birth between three and four months after mating. Females can give birth to up to twenty liters. The newborns measure between 130 and 140 mm. They also weigh between 10 and 20 grams.
Blue tongued skinks are some of the friendliest and low-maintenance pet lizards. These pets make wonderful pets provided they are accorded proper care. If you are thinking of bringing a blue tongued skink home, prepare to take appropriate care of this pet lizard.