The Blue Tongued skink is a large, diurnal lizard with a huge appetite for slugs and snails that has made it a popular pet among Australian gardeners. Skinks are low-maintenance lizards that make excellent pets for youngsters and beginners, as long as owners are aware of their relatively big size in comparison to other pet lizards.
Blue Tongued skinks require a big enclosure with a secure lid, such as a 40- to 55-gallon tank. Aspen wood shavings, cypress mulch, or even newspaper can be used as the substrate (bedding). Whatever you choose, make sure your skink doesn’t eat it, or your lizard may develop an intestinal blockage. Make sure you have a large, shallow, and durable water dish.
Skinks enjoy bathing in their water, but they also frequently defecate in it, thus the water dish must be cleaned on a regular basis. Because they are solely ground dwellers, blue-tongued skinks do not require branches for climbing. Because they like to burrow and hide, provide a few of strong hiding sites. You can use cork bark, wood, rocks, PVC pipes, or other hides.
Make certain that any wood or rocks are securely positioned so that they do not fall on the lizard. A humidity hide (such as a plastic storage box filled with moss or cypress mulch to retain moisture) will assist your skink in shedding its skin.
Because Blue Tongued skinks, like bearded dragons and frill-necked lizards, are native to Australia, temperatures should be warm, with a thermal gradient of 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and a basking spot of 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Under-tank heating and a basking light on one side of the tank work well together.
Ensure that an appropriate temperature gradient is given by measuring temperatures in multiple locations around the tank, rather than just one. Temperatures at night can dip to around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). Cooler temperatures can cause a variety of issues for your skink and make it more sick.
Provide a full spectrum UVA/UVB light in addition to the incandescent basking light for 10 to 12 hours each day. This bulb will come with clear instructions on how far away you should keep it from your skink, however it is usually between 10 to 12 inches. Make sure nothing is stopping the light from reaching your skink, with the exception of a metal mesh screen if necessary.
The substrate in this tank should be able to support live plants due to the Blue Tongued skink’s high humidity requirements. Rich soils should be mixed into the substrate, which should be spot cleaned every other day to remove feces.
The scales of a Blue Tongued Skink are smooth and shiny, and they overlap like fish scales. These reptiles are a tough species with lengthy bodies and short legs. They also have thick, lengthy tails. They walk with a little waddle because to their short legs and long body. There are no obvious physical distinctions between males and females.
While the ventral (or bottom) side of a Blue Tongued Skink is normally light grey, the top side can be a variety of dull colors including brown, green, and grey. Their blue tongue is similar to other lizard species’ ultraviolet-blue patches of skin. The main function of their tongue is to serve as a warning indication. Although it is not harmful, it alerts predators not to approach and competitors to keep away from it.
Blue Tongued Skinks are diurnal, meaning they are awake during the day. They are, nevertheless, naturally bashful; as a result, they are sensitive and do not go far from their shelters. They excavate holes in the sand and cling to rocks and logs with their claws. When they are agitated, they inflate up their bodies, put out their blue tongues, and hiss loudly to express their feelings.
Blue Tongued Skinks exhibit this behavior if they come into contact with each other while looking for food. Another characteristic shared by this skink and kindred lizards is the capacity to lose their tails when threatened. Aside from this defensive tendency, they are quite peaceful creatures. When it comes to mating, Blue Tongued males are quite violent against each other if there aren’t many females around, and they may even be aggressive to the females while copulating
A metabolic bone disease is the most common health issue among skinks (and other reptiles) in captivity. This ailment develops when the animal’s phosphorous-to-calcium ratio is out of balance, which is mainly caused by insufficient UV sunlight and, in certain cases, a bad diet. Weakening or shattered bones, tremors, tiredness, and general weakness are all symptoms.
Blue Tongued Skinks, like other lizards, can be vitamin A deficient. A supplement can help keep this from becoming a significant problem. All reptiles, including lizards, lose their skins at some time in their lives. If your skink is unable to shed completely or sheds sporadically, it could be a symptom of a health problem.
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