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Blotched Blue-tongued Skinks by Richard Bartlett on 2023-04-24 00:04:00

Not brightly colored, but IMO the finest of the Blue Tongues, Tiliqua nigrolutea.

Having well over 300 skink species, Australia could also be known as the “Great Land of Skinks.” These range in size from 4” long Garden Skinks and Pygmy Blue-Tongued Skinks to the remaining 5 species, all bulky blue-tongued species of the genus Tiliqua (one (possibly 2) additional species are extralimital). The Australian species are the Blotched, Common, Centralian, and Western Blue-tongues, and the Stump-tailed Skink, this latter now being considered one of the Blue-tongued skinks. These 5 vary individually within species from 16 to 23 inches in overall adult length.

Although we have kept several species, it is the Blotched Blue-tongue, Tiliqua nigrolutea, that is my favorite. Additionally, I favor the black (ground color) and buff (dorsal blotches and lateral reticulations) of the montane form over the paler colors of the lowland forms. Both forms are heavy-bodied, short-legged, diurnal, terrestrial, adult at 16-20”, live-bearing, long-lived (~20 years), placid, and hardy.

This skink adapts well to varying temperatures as well as eagerly accepting a wide variety of food items. Ours ate fruits, vegetables, canned dogfood, softened kibbled dog food, and they loved snails, slugs, and nightcrawlers. They often fold the hindlegs back towards the tail when moving about.

Females produced a single clutch annually, neonates numbering 3 to 8.

If you like responsive, hardy, captives, and if they are ever again legally available and affordable, consider a Blotched Blue-tongue. I don’t think you will be unhappy with the choice.
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