Blotched blue tongued skink
Blue tongued skink
Scincidae - Tiliqua nigrolutea
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What does it look like?

Blotched blue-tongue skinks are mostly black with varying amounts of light brown or grey blotches or bands.  These lighter markings may be pale yellow or even orange.  They have a large triangular head, which is usually dark grey, as well as the distinctive blue tongue. Blue-tongue skinks are omnivorous, feeding during the day on berries, fruits, eggs, invertebrates and small vertebrates, as well as carrion.  They can live for more than 30 years in captivity.

Blotched blue-tongue skinks are naturally found in cooler areas of Australia than the common blue-tongue skinks, such as the Blue Mountains of New South Wales and in Tasmania.  They are more active at cooler temperatures than common blue tongue skinks.  Blotched blue-tongue skinks appear to be the most temperature sensitive species of blue-tongue skinks and require areas with higher rainfall and where summers and winters are cooler.

Why is it a problem?

There is potential for predation of native wildlife, such as birds and their eggs, and smaller lizards.  There is also the potential for disease transmission to native species. In urban areas, they would be susceptible to snail baits in gardens and predation by domestic animals.  Common blue-tongue skinks are known to thrive in urban environments though, and show strong site fidelity, spending up to 70% of their time in "safe" locations, and they avoid roads.

Both species of blue-tongue skinks bear live young.  Females usually select a safe site and remain there during the gestation period.  Female blue-tongue skinks can have up to 25 young in one litter, and they grow rapidly, maturing in 2-3 years.

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