Common blue tongued skink
Blue tongued skink
Scincidae - Tiliqua scincoides

What does it look like?

Common blue-tongue skinks are grey-pale brown reptiles native to Australia, which can grow to 60cm long.  They have dark bands around the body and tail, the belly is cream-coloured, and they have a large triangular head with a distinctive bright 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.

Common blue-tongue skinks are found in eastern and northern Australia, they thrive in urban areas and are present in the suburbs of many cities.  Common blue-tongue skinks prefer temperatures of 30-37ºC, but have been recorded to be active at temperatures as low as 15ºC.  They use discrete home ranges and return to the same sleeping areas each night.

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.

More Information

Exemption to rule 7.1.2

Exemption: Common blue tongued skinks may be held in captivity, bred and sold, but it is illegal to release them into the wild.

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