Blue Tongued Skinks

Image of a blue toungued skink.

Blue tongued skinks are quite and gentle, and quite easily tamed and handled. It is reported that even wild blue tongued skinks will sometimes allow themselves to be picked up without a struggle. Popular as pets, blue tongued skinks or "skinks" are moderately sized lizards native to Australia. They live in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, forests, rainforests, and deserts. They are now found all over the world as pets. They are not inexpensive to care for as they have, like many other lizards, strict nutritional and environmental requirements that need to be met for them to thrive. Fairly large at mature size of around 20 inches (snout to vent length of 12 inches), a good sized tank/cage will be required. The expected life span of a blue tongued skink is anywhere from 10-20 years, although with good attention to nutrition and the ideal environment, the high end of that range should be expected. However, they are social and easy to tame and handle, and show a range of fascinating behaviors that make them interesting to watch.

Care

  • Need a large enclosure such as a 40-55 gallon tank.
  • Being ground dwellers they don't need branches for climbing, but still need a secure lid.
  • Substrate: aspen wood shavings, cypress mulch, or even newspaper. Make sure they are not ingesting wood substrates.
  • Temperature: gradient from 75-85 F (24-29 C) with a basking spot of 95 F (35 C). A combination of undertank heating and a basking light on one side of the tank works well. Make sure the appropriate temperature gradient is provided by measuring temperatures in various spots around the tank. Night temperature can drop to about 70 F (21 C).
  • Light: in addition to the incandescent basking light, provide a full spectrum UVA/UVB light for 10-12 hours per day.
  • Water: provide a large shallow sturdy water dish. Skinks like to bathe in their water but often defecate there so frequent cleaning is required for the water dish.
  • Hides: a couple of sturdy hiding spots should be provided for skinks, which like to burrow and hide. Cork bark, wood, rocks, PVC pipes, or other hides can be used. Make sure wood pieces or rocks are firmly places so they will not fall on the lizard. A humidity hide (e.g. a plastic storage box with moss or cypress mulch to holds moisture) will help with sheds.

Feeding

  • Skinks are true omnivores, which should be reflected in their diet.
  • Variety is the key to providing a nutritious diet, and a calcium/vitamin D supplement should be added to the food.
  • Vegetables/fruits: beans, summer or winter squash, carrots, parsnips, leafy greens. Can be shredded or pureed and added to meat portion of diet. Fruits can include strawberries, bananas, melon, etc.
  • Meats: low fat canned dog food is a good staple in the diet. This should be supplemented with other items such as superworms and pinkie mice (larger for adults).
No form settings found. Please configure it.

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

7:00

Varies

Tuesday:

7:00

Varies

Wednesday:

7:00

Varies

Thursday:

7:00

Varies

Friday:

7:00

Varies

Saturday:

Closed

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonial

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Dr. Savell has always gone above and beyond for the care of our family's pets for several years."
    John Doe Newport News, VA

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • Fish

    If you’re thinking of getting a pet fish, you should know that your veterinarian has a lot of good advice about pet ownership. Fish can be very rewarding as pets, and you just may be surprised about how much fish actually interact with their owners. Here’s more valuable information about choosing ...

    Read More
  • Caring for Senior Cats

    Thanks to advancements in veterinary care, today’s cats can live well into their teen years. It is not uncommon for cats to live to be 18 or even older. However, in order for cats to live a long full life, they need proactive veterinary care to stay healthy. As cats age, they are at greater risk for ...

    Read More
  • Feline Stomatitis: Treatments

    Cats rarely display their pain, but cats with feline stomatitis are often the exception. If your cat appears to have mouth pain, is reluctant to eat, doesn't want to groom, is drooling, and doesn't want you to open its mouth, it may be suffering from this debilitating, degenerative oral condition, and ...

    Read More
  • Feline Leukemia Virus: What You Need to Know

    Feline leukemia (FeLV) is a virus that weakens your cat's immune system. Unfortunately, when the immune system does not function properly, your cat may be more likely to develop other diseases, such as cancer and blood disorders. How Cats Contract Feline Leukemia Cats get feline leukemia from other cats. ...

    Read More
  • Family Cats and Pregnant Women: Take Measures to Prevent Toxoplasmosis Infection

    Nothing must spoil the joys of becoming a new parent. Not even your pets. But family cats with normal, every day habits can pose a risk to expectant women. Women's immune systems can be disturbed by a parasite carried in fecal matter. If you're the primary caretaker of your family's feline friend it ...

    Read More
  • Create an Environment Your Cat Will Love

    The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery confirms that feline emotional wellbeing, behavior and physical health are a result of how comfortable they are in their environment. Understanding how our cats interact with their environment can help us create a space for owners and cats to mutually thrive ...

    Read More
  • Catnip: Why Cats Love It

    Few things stimulate a cat's pleasure faster than catnip. Exposure to this simple herb can reveal a new side to their feline personality. Many cats will go crazy at the smell of this plant. Catnip has a reputation of being a feline drug and many cat owners wonder if it is safe to give it to their pet. ...

    Read More
  • Zoonosis

    Zoonosis refers to diseases that can be transmitted to humans from animals. In particular, they occur when an infected animal passes on bacteria, parasites, fungi or viruses to humans through scratches, saliva, feces and urine. Vectors (e.g., organisms like fleas and ticks) can also carry zoonotic diseases ...

    Read More
  • Sugar Gliders

    Thinking of getting a sugar glider? These tiny marsupials are energetic and friendly, making them popular choices as pets. Though they weigh less than a half-pound, they're more closely related to kangaroos than they are flying squirrels. If you think a sugar glider would make an ideal pet for your family, ...

    Read More
  • Epilepsy

    Epilepsy (often referred to as a seizure disorder) is a chronic neurological condition characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. It is commonly controlled with medication, although surgical methods are used as well. Epileptic seizures are classified both by their patterns of activity in the brain ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles