Fun Blue Tongue Skink Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Feb 21, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
Blue tongue skink is a fascinating creature to learn about.
?
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

In this article, we will learn interesting tidbits about the blue-tongued skink and what makes it special. These creatures are named after their distinct bright blue tongue, which they can use to intimidate their enemies. All species and subspecies of these lizards belong to Class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Scincidae, and the genus Tiliqua. There are eight known species of these animals, some of which are the irian Jaya blue tongue skink, blotched blue tongue skink, Centralian blue-tongued skink, Indonesian blue tongue skink, and others. The diversity of these skinks with blue tongues does not end with subspecies like the Eastern blue tongue skink, Merauke blue tongue skink, Halmahera blue tongue skink (all the subspecies are either native to Australia or Indonesia). These slow-moving, shy reptiles have, as of recently, become a popular pet option too. But to witness these creatures in the wild, you'd have to take a trip to either Australia, New Guinea, or Indonesia.

Inform yourself of the wonders of the blue-tongued Skink by reading until the very end of this article.

If you enjoy reading these facts about the blue tongue skink, then do read these articles on the lava lizard and the frilled lizard.

Blue Tongue Skink Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a blue tongue skink?

Blue tongued skink is the common name for the genus Tiliqua. These animals are a type of lizards that are known for their blue-colored tongues.

What class of animal does a blue tongue Skink belong to?

The blue-tongued skink belongs to the class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Scincidae, and have further species that branch from the genus Tiliqua.

How many blue tongue skinks are there in the world?

No population estimates have been recorded for blue-tongued skinks.

Where does a blue tongue Skink live?

Blue-tongued skinks can be found in large numbers in warm forests, grasslands, and deserts.

What is a blue tongue skink's habitat?

The blue-tongued skink habitat consists of relatively warm temperatures like grasslands, forests, and deserts. They are ground dwellers, spending most of their time burrowing under leaf litter. They are known to rely on the warmth of their surroundings as they cannot produce their own body heat. Eastern blue-tongued skinks (scientific name Tiliqua scincoides), among other species, can be found in Australia, Indonesia, and New Guinea.

Who do blue tongue skinks live with?

The blue-tongued skink prefers leading a solitary life. In their natural habitat, their days are spent basking in the sun and foraging for food.

How long does a blue tongue skink live?

The blue-tongued skink lifespan is between 10 and 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

Blue-tongued skinks breed during the spring and winter seasons. These animals give birth in a manner that is unique among reptiles. These animals are ovoviviparous, meaning, they give birth through eggs, but the offspring develops and hatches in the mother's body. The gestation period of these lizards takes around three months. The female blue-tongued skinks usually give birth during the day, after their body is adequately warmed. The newborn blue-tongued skinks weigh between 0.3 oz - 0.7 oz.

What is their conservation status?

Blue-tongued skinks are generally not endangered, but the Adelaide pygmy blue-tongued skink has been deemed 'Endangered' by the IUCN.

Blue Tongue Skink Fun Facts

What do blue tongue skinks look like?

Being the largest member of the skink family, the blue-tongued skink appears as a long lizard with short and stubby legs. These animals have four limbs, with five equal-length toes. Bodies of these animals appear to be silvery gray, brown, or tan with overlapping glossy scales. The blue tongue skink's tail is thick, and the tail is shorter than the body. The most distinctive feature of this lizard is its vibrant and striking blue tongue. With many blue tongue skink morphs in existence in many species, the variety of their color is a gift that keeps on giving. There exists the albino blue-tongued skink, too, which mutates to have white or yellow skin.

How cute are they?

At first glance, blue-tongued skink may not appear to be cute in the conventional sense. But the blue tongue's friendly, docile nature and their striking blue tongue make them look really intriguing and unique.

How do they communicate?

When disturbed by predators, the blue-tongued skink's body puffs up. They make a loud hissing sound and stick out their unique blue tongue to communicate their discomfort.

How big is a blue tongue skink?

These reptiles are 24 inches long. The long blue-tongued skink size makes them the largest members of the skink family. They are three times larger than the size of the common wall lizard.

How fast can a blue tongue Skink move?

Blue-tongued skinks have short legs and feet. Hence, it cannot cover long distances at a fast speed. Most of the blue-tongued skink's movements are less than 66 ft.

How much does a blue tongue Skink weigh?

A blue tongue skink weighs approximately 10 oz - 18 oz.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no unique names given to the male and female blue-tongued skinks.

What would you call a baby blue tongue skink?

Their offspring can be referred to as 'baby blue tongues' or as a baby lizard.

What do they eat?

Blue-tongued skinks are omnivores, as their diet includes both plants and animal matter. Blue-tongued skinks' diet includes snails, worms, flowers, fruits, berries, and insects.

Are they dangerous?

Blue-tongued skinks aren't venomous. When disturbed, their body puffs up, and they take out their bright blue tongue, but they are not dangerous creatures. Even when bitten by them, you might only get a minor bruise as their teeth are not meant for tearing. So a blue-tongued skink bite does not cause serious harm.

Would they make a good pet?

Blue-tongued skinks are relatively easy to care for and make for brilliant beginner-friendly pets. If you are not intimidated by its rather large size compared to other lizards, Blue-tongued skink pets are low maintenance and friendly creatures. These reptiles are also perfect pets to scare off unwanted slugs and snails in your backyard.

Did you know...

Similar to lizards, when they feel threatened, the blue-tongued skink has the ability to lose its tail. The lizard's tail then regenerates and is completely cartilaginous.

The males of all species of these lizards are very aggressive towards each other in the presence of their female counterparts. So it might not be the best idea to keep them together as pets in an enclosed area.

The bright, striking ultraviolet blue tongue of the blue-tongued skink is meant to scare off predators and take them by surprise.

How smart are blue tongue skinks?

Baby blue tongues are born smart. Left to be on their own without parental support just after their birth, these lizards are forced to learn new things at a very young age. A juvenile blue-tongued skink learns how to scare off predators, forage their own food and find a place to stay in the first few weeks of its birth.

Having your own blue tongue skink

A cute blue-tongued skink pet makes for a great beginner-friendly pet. To give your blue-tongued skink the care that it deserves, you must invest time in researching their specific needs. The blue-tongued skink enclosure needs to be large with ample space. A blue-tongued skink tank size of 40 to 50 gal with a bed of aspen wood shavings would be the perfect fit. You can decorate the blue-tongued skink cage with logs, foliage, and branches. Being native to Australia, blue-tongued skinks require warm temperatures. In regards to the blue-tongued skink food, you can give them a mix of vegetables, fruits, and meat. A healthy blue-tongued skink diet consists of foods like parsnips, bananas and super worms. Regular touch and being held from an early age is the key to keep these lizards from becoming anti-social.

Being an unconventional pet, you may need to do little research to figure out where to buy blue-tongued skink. Northern blue-tongued skinks are available seasonally in comparison to the Indonesian blue-tongued skinks, which can be easier to find. Pet trade is tricky, so be sure to check that your blue-tongued skinks have clear eyes and blemish-free skin. The Northern blue-tongued skink price of an adult can cost you about $250, whereas the baby blue tongues may cost up to $150.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including the sand lizard and the bog turtle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our blue tongue skink coloring pages.

Blue Tongue Skink Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Insects, snails, worms

What Type of Animal were they?

Omnivorous

Average Litter Size?

10-19

How Much Did They Weigh?

10 oz-18 oz

What habitat Do they Live In?

grasslands, rainforests, deserts

Where Do They Live?

mainland australia tiliqua gigas - islands of indonesia and new guinea

How Long Were They?

12 in-24 in

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Class

Reptilia

Genus

Tiliqua

Family

Egerniinae

Scientific Name

Tiliqua

What Do They Look Like?

Silvery gray, brown, tan

Skin Type

Overlapping Scales

What Are Their Main Threats?

predators - snakes, kookaburras humans - pet trade

What is their Conservation Status?

Varying from Least Concern to Endangered
We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

Sources

wildlifelearningcenter.orgen.m.wikipedia.orgseaworld.orgwww.lvzoo.orglafeber.comaustralian.museum

See All

Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

Read full bio >
Read the DisclaimerFact Correction