Northern Blue Tongue Skink Care

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

 
Scientific Name

Tiliqua scincoides intermedia

Natural Habitat

Blue tongue skinks are Pac Man frogs are native to the humid forests of Argentina, Uruguay, Paruaguay and Brazil.

Lifespan

A healthy blue tongue skink that is properly cared for can live up for 10 to 20 years in captivity.

Size

Adult skinks can grow to a size of 18 to 24 inches long.

Appearance

Blue tongue skinks range anywhere from black and white to orange and tan in coloration, but they always have the trademark blue tongue. Adult skinks can grow up to 18 to 24 inches in length.

 

PROPER HABITAT SETUP

Tank Size

Recommended minimum tank size is a 40 gallon breeder (36" L x 18" W) for 1 adult blue tongue skink. Young skinks can be kept in a 20 gallon terrarium until they grow older.

Temperatures and Lighting
Ideal daytime ambient temperatures range from 75-85°F with a basking spot of 90 - 100°F.  At night, temperatures can drop as low as 70ºF.

Natural light or UVB 5.0 for 8 - 12 hours per day is recommended but not required. 
Water and Humidity
Your skink should always have access to clean water in an appropriately sized dish. Since blue tongue skinks are poor swimmers, use a wide, shallow water bowl for your skink to drink from and soak in. Shallow water dishes are also good because the skink is less likely to tip it over and spill the water. It will need to be cleaned frequently as skinks are known to defecate in their water.

The humidity levels in your skink's habitat should be between 25% and 40% to mimic their semi-dry natural habitat. You can raise the tank's humidity level by misting it with a spray bottle and can lower it by providing better ventilation.
Substrate
Recommended substrates for blue tongue skinks include aspen chips, recycled paper substrates, fir bark and cypress mulch. Cedar chips, clay cat litter, orchid bark and walnut shells should all be avoided because they can lead to impaction from ingestion or respiratory issues.
Cohabitation

Cohabitation is the practice of housing more than 1 animal together in the same tank. Blue tongue skinks can sometimes be housed successfully as a breeding pair of 1 male and 1 female or 2 females together, but doesn't always work out. Two males should never be housed together, as they will fight. If you attempt to cohabitate 2 animals together, always make sure to keep a close eye out for any signs of aggression (and be ready to separate them if seen).

 

DIET & FEEDING

Blue tongue skinks are omnivores and can eat a very wide range of proteins, veggies, and fruits. The more variety in their diet, the better. Their diet should consist around 50% of vegetables and greens such as collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, squash (butternut, acorn, spaghetti, etc.), peas, and brussel sprouts.  Good sources of protein for your skink include cat food, feeder insects such as dubia roaches and superworms, ground turkey, boiled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, and also pinkie mice. Young skinks should be fed every other day while adults can be fed every 2-3 days. It is also recommended to remove any uneaten food from the skink's tank after feeding. Avoid feeding your skink citrus, avocado, eggplant, rhubarb and high-sodium canned foods.

 

Make sure to "gutload" your skink's food by feeding it carrots, spinach, or special gutload mix found at pet stores before feeding to your pet. When feeding, also make sure to dust your feeders with calcium + vitamin D3 powder. This is essential for their health and prevents malnutrition and bone disease. It is helpful to use feeding tongs when offering live prey to your blue tongue skink, to avoid an accidental bite and also promote better hygiene. 

 

FIND A BLUE TONGUE SKINK FOR SALE

Check out our online skink breeder directory to find a blue tongue skink for sale from a reputable local breeder near you!

BEHAVIOR AND HANDLING

 

Most blue tongue skinks tolerate handling quite well, and some will even enjoy you scratching its head or chin. However, make sure to give your skink a few days to adjust to its new environment after bringing it home, and try to keep handling sessions to a maximum of 10 minutes to not stress the animal.

 

BREEDING

*Coming soon!*

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