Blue-tongued skink

Blue-tongued skink

Tiliqua scincoides

Conservation status: IUCN – LC (Least concern).

Geographic range: Australia, New Guinea, Tasmania.

Physical description: Their body length ranges from 30 to 38 cm, with a tail of 60 to 65 cm long. They weigh approximately 500 g and are robust and stoutly built. They are usually silvery-grey or white coloured with dark brown or black stripes on their back and tail but they can also have some yellowish or orange colour on their sides.

Biology: These lizards are active during the daytime and live in open, wooded areas. In cities, they can hide under tins, tiles, garden plants or even inside buildings. They have very strong jaws and sharp teeth which help them easily crush snail shells. When in danger, they freeze, open their mouth and stick out their blue tongue. This unusually coloured tongue warns potential predators that they are not edible. If this doesn’t work the lizard can puff up its body to make itself appear larger. Females lay live young and the clutch size can reach up to 19 individuals.  

Lifespan: 15-20 years. 

Food habits: Insects, snails, other reptiles, plants, fruit.

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