Blue-Tongued Skink (Tiliqua scincoides)

Our Blue-Tongued Skink at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is not on exhibit because he’s resting. He’s got a big job to do! He’s one of our Animal Ambassadors in our travelling Education programs known as Zoomobiles. He goes to schools and community functions throughout Connecticut and beyond to teach girls and boys all about amazing animal adaptations and many other topics. He’s even been on television. But his stardom has not gone to his head. He’s still the same cool lizard he’s always been. To find out more about him, read on. Who knows, he may even be able to make a special appearance at your next birthday party here at the Zoo. To find out more about Zoo birthday parties and other special events, simply check out this area of our website.

Description: 

Blue tongued skinks get their common name from their bright cobalt blue tongues that they use to startle and ward off predators. They have a heavily build, broad bodies with overlapping scales and tiny legs with delicate toes. They have broad, blunt triangular heads and a short, thick tail that stores fat. The tail can break off when grabbed by a predator but can partly re-grow. They grow to 24 inches.

Habitat: 

Blue-tongued skinks inhabit grasslands, forests, rainforests and even deserts. They seek shelter at night in hollow logs and ground debris.

Range: 

Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea.

Diet: 

Blue-tongued skinks are omnivores, meaning they feed on a variety of plants and animals. Their diet includes insects, worms, snails, flowers, fruits and berries.

Life Span: 

10 years or more. May live more than 20 years in a zoo setting.

Family Life: 

Female skinks are ovoviviparous, which mean they produce eggs which hatch inside their bodies after a 100-day incubation. The live young are usually expelled in mid-summer and fend for themselves when they emerge.

Status: 

Common throughout their range yet they are sometimes often killed because they mimic a highly venomous snake, the Death Adder.