Tiliqua – Blue-tongue Lizard or Skink

Advice about the management and care of Blue–tongue lizards for NSW schools.


Tiliqua – Blue-tongue Lizard or Skink

The Blue-tongue lizard is one of the most commonly seen and known reptiles in Australia, found in eastern and northern Australia in woodlands, grasslands and heath country. The Blue- tongue lizard readily adapts to urban and suburban gardens and parks, feeding on a variety of invertebrates and plant material with their favourites being slugs and snails.

Blue-tongue lizards can reach sizes of up to 60cms in length and are typically grey or pale brown with darker banding on the body and tail. The belly is cream or yellowish white and the lizard is characterised by its vivid blue tongue. The Blue-tongue lizard is harmless however it can bite if harassed but usually prefers to carry out a bluff performance that can involve opening its mouth to display its blue tongue and producing a hiss by forcing air from its lungs.

The Blue-tongue lizard gives birth to live young and is capable of producing litters of up to 30 lizards in late summer after mating in spring and early summer.

Multiple Blue-tongue lizards can be kept together however fighting can occur and Blue-tongue lizards can readily reproduce. For this reason, it is recommended that Blue-tongue lizards are not kept together in a school situation so that aggressive behaviour which can lead to injuries requiring veterinary treatment and unwanted breeding that produces an excess of unwanted offspring is avoided.

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