Reptiles And Amphibians

Blue Tongue Skink Care



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The Blue Tongued Skink is an omnivore which means it eats meat and leaf foods. It should be fed fresh foods such as cooled live crickets and fresh fruit three times a week. Any uneaten food should be removed after 24 hours. The favorite food of this reptile is generally snails though individual tastes may vary. A fully grown adult can reach a length of 50cm (20inches) and can live for up to ten years. The Blue Tongued Skink is a stocky lizard with a wide flat back and sharp claws. Males have a larger tail than females as they have double reproductive organs. As the name states, it has a blue tongue which can be flattened and rippled in the mouth with a hiss following. This is the skinks defense.

A vivarium with the measurements 120 x 30 x 30cm (48 x 12 12inches) would be a suitable size. The temperature should be kept at 25-35 degrees Celsius (77-95 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day and 18-20 degrees C (65-68 degrees F) on a night. Suitable substrates would be newspaper or chip-shop paper covered with wood chips, peat or leaf litter. Suitable furnishings would be logs, branches and rocks for the skink to climb on.

The vivarium should be large enough to allow freedom of movement and must have plenty of enrichment such as logs and branches to provide exercise. Regular handling of the Blue Tongued Skink will also provide exercise as well as taming it. A shallow bowl of clean, warm water must be provided to give the skink bathing opportunities.

Observing the animal to see if it is displaying its "normal" behavior is part of checking its health. When handling, the limbs and digits should be checked for abnormalities and the body should be checked for any signs of edema (swelling) or bleeding and parasites. The eyes should be bright and alert.

Safe waste disposal is essential for the prevention of rodent infestation and prevention of contamination and spread of disease. As Blue Tongued Skinks are fed on live crickets, any waste food should be disposed of with clinical waste for incineration. Other waste such as soiled substrates can be put into a black bag that goes in a skip.

The Blue Tongued Skink is not toxic but it can be ferocious. If it feels threatened it will hiss and may bite, which can be quite painful and may require first-aid. To handle the animal, the hands should be cupped around the body gently. Regular handling will help to tame the Blue Tongued Skink. To restrain the skink, the body should be held at the back of the neck and the body fully supported.

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