©1996, 2000 Melissa Kaplan
T. gigas - New Guinea Blue Tongue Skink - This skink is gray or gray brown with irregular narrow bands of dark brown across the back. Distribution: Indonesia (Ambon, Ceram, Ternate, Halmahera, Ke, Aru), Papua New Guinea, Jobi, Admirality Islands, New Britain, Bismarck Archipelago.
- Central Blue-Tongued Skink
T. nigrolutea - Blotched Blue-Tongued Skink
T. occipitalis - Western Blue-Tongued Skink
T. rugosa - Shingleback Skink
T. scincoides scincoides - Common/Eastern Blue-Tongued Skink
T. scincoides intermedia - Northern Blue-Tongued Skink
Cyclodomorphus casuarinae - She-oak Slender Bluetongue, She-oak Skink
Cyclodomorphus celatus - Distribution: lower West coastal areas, including islands
Cyclodomorphus maxima - Giant Slender Bluetongue. Distribution: Western Australia
Cyclodomorphus melanops elongatus - Slender Bluetongue. Distribution: Western Australia. Also C. m. melanops and C. m. sticulosus.
Cyclodomorphus michaeli - Coastal She-Oak Slender Bluetongue Distribution: lower altitudes of mainland Australia, NSW south
Cyclodomorphus praealtus - Alpine She-Oak Slender Bluetongue. Distribution: Australian Alps, Victoria
Cyclodomorphus venustus - (Samphire) Slender Bluetongue. South Australia
gerrardii (previously: T. gerrardii; sometimes Cyclodomorphus gerrardii)
- Australian Pink-Tongued skink
Substrate can be clean dust-free pine (not cedar) shavings, aspen shavings or cypress mulch.
Most prefer snug hides, so hide boxes, rock caves or half logs will be needed.
While these are ground dwelling lizards, they do have to clamber over things to get their relatively large bodies over things with their outlandishly tiny legs and feet. Many seem to enjoy the exploration and exercise climbing over and through things gives them, so providing different levels of branches and logs for them to climb on will make for better adjusted lizards. This also means that top-opening tanks need to be securely fastened, and open-top tanks need to be deep enough to prevent the skink from climbing out.
One area of slightly damp substrate should be kept, or a humidity retreat box (into which they can freely climb in and out, filled with damp sphagnum moss or a loosely piled damp towel, for use during shed periods).
A people heating pad under the tank at one end, and a radiant heat source overhead at the same end, will generally be all that is required to establish the necessary gradient. Cold winter weather outside will require additional heating or a stronger bulb in the enclosure. Temps should not be allowed to fall below 70 F at night on the cool side.
Frozen vegetable mixes are either mostly corn and carrots, or mostly cauliflower and broccoli. Neither are particularly good for skinks and other animals. Corn and carrots convert quickly to sugars, and carrots have oxalates, which bind calcium, preventing its uptake. Cauliflower and broccoli contain goitrogens which bind iodine, leading to impaired thyroid function. In additional, the thiaminase in frozen green vegetables and greens destroys the thiamin (B1) in the plant; when fed regularly, this leads to a thiamin deficiency. If you use frozen vegetables or freeze your own fresh salad.
Many skinks seem to relish berries and juicy fruits, so think about keeping a supply of frozen blueberries and cherries around, as well as fresh berries, peaches, nectarines, and pears during the season. A bite or two of banana is generally not refused, either.
Hatchling skinks can be started on mealworms, redworms, small crickets, and pinkie mice. As they grow, increase the size of the prey (small earthworms, Zoophoba larvae and pupae, fuzzies and crews).
Feed the skinks ad lib, that is, however much they want to eat, when they want to eat. Feeding frequency will taper off as they grow, so you may find that you are offering food 2-4 times a week. Blue-tongues are pretty eloquent when they are hungry (they clearly fixate on your hands and any other perceived movement, often with their mouth open and body ready to charge or pounce), so they are unlikely to go hungry for long so long as you keep an eye on them.
Fresh drinking water should always be available for them.
Obst, et al. Atlas of Reptiles and Amphibians. 1988. TFH Publishing.
Aussie Lizards Lick Toad Terror with Evolution (Discovery News)
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