- Scientific Name: Tiliqua scincoides
- Lifespan: Approximately 20 years
- Handling: Anytime
- Size: Up to 14 – 18 inches long
- Care: Easy
- Community: It’s best to house blue tongue skinks individually.
- Lifestyle: Diurnal, active during the day.
If you are making an enclosure for your blue tongue skink yourself, you should make sure it’s nice and big. The minimum size enclosure should be (LxWxH) 36″ x 18″ x 16″ which is equivalent to a 40 gallon breeder tank. But do not limit yourself. If you can make the enclosure bigger, your blue tongue skink will enjoy it and make use of all the room. Bigger is always better.
If you are buying a tank, use the following tank size guide for juveniles and adults:
- 6 inches or less: 20 gallon long tank is recommended
- 7 inches or more: 40 gallon breeder tank or larger is recommended
Your blue tongue skinks enclosure should be very basic with only a few items. The bigger the enclosure is, the more items you can put in. But with a basic size enclosure, you should keep it to a minimum to allow mobility throughout the enclosure.
You should provide your blue tongue skink a nice large piece of driftwood or rock to bask on during the day.
You should provide a hiding area on the cool side of the enclosure to allow your blue tongue skink to escape the heat when he has had too much. This will allow him to cool off. You can add a hiding area by providing a half log or any other sort of cave type ornament.
Food & Water Bowl
The food bowl will usually be for the worms and vegetation that you will be feeding to your blue tongue skink from time to time. The other insects like roaches and crickets will usually be free roaming the enclosure (if you don’t have loose substrate). The last thing you want is for your blue tongue skink to eat substrate. The water bowl should be big enough for your lizard to get into if he wants too, but also shallow enough for him to be able to get in and out of easily. They will very rarely soak themselves, but they do tend to drink a lot, so the big water bowl won’t hurt.
Lighting & Heating
Lighting is very important for blue tongue skinks. Without proper lighting, your blue tongue skink will have high risks of developing illnesses and diseases like metabolic bone disease which is painful and incurable. With proper lighting, your blue tongue skink will live a nice and healthy life. All you need are two types of lights which are mentioned below.
This bulb is to provide heat for your blue tongue skink when he decides to bask. Depending on where you live and the temperatures being held there, you will need to figure out which kind of heat bulb you will be needing. There are different wattage’s that give off different temperatures. Usually 75 – 100 watts will do the trick. If you live somewhere cold, you might want to get a basking bulb with 150 watts.
This bulb is very important for the growth and health of your blue tongue skink. The best bulb that most reptile enthusiasts may agree on is the reptisun 10.o made by zoomed. When looking for UVB bulbs, try to get a tube version rather than a coil version. Tube versions are overall better for your blue tongue skink as they cover more area of the enclosure, last longer, and are better for the eyes of your blue tongue skink.
If you can give your blue tongue skink some outdoor time, take advantage of the natural sunlight. The natural sun is better than any bulb you can buy at any pet store. But make sure the temperatures and environment is safe for your blue tongue skink. Be cautious and aware of predator birds and rodents.
When measuring temperatures, it’s best to use digital thermometers. Dial thermometers tend to give off inaccurate measurements.
Ambient: 75 – 80 °F
Basking: 90 – 95 °F
No lights are necessary. The temperatures of 68 – 75 °F are recommended for comfortable living. If it is too cold to achieve this temperature without lights, I recommend using a ceramic heat emitter.
You should never use any type of heat rocks. Heat rocks are known to cause problems and burns to the underside of blue tongue skink bellies.
Feeding & Diet
Feedings should vary as your blue tongue skink’s size, weight, age, and gender does. Blue tongue skinks will eat an almost 50/50 split between veggies and insects. Insects include; crickets, roaches, silkworms, phoenix worms, hornworms, superworms, and etc. You may also add some vegetables (collard greens, mustard greens, romaine lettuce) and fruits to their diet, but only feed fruit occasionally as a treat (10% of diet).
- Vegetables and fruits that are not eaten within 24 hours should be discarded to reduce the chance of mold and bacteria build up.
- Live food should be taken out of the enclosure if not consumed by the time lights go out. Leaving insects in the enclosure will only bother your blue tongue skink while he tries to sleep.
You should also dust the foods with special supplements. The supplements will help with overall health, growth, and bone formation.
Their feedings must be dusted as follows:
- Calcium without D3 – every other feeding
- Calcium with D3 – 2-3 times a month
- Multivitamins – 2-3 times a month
Rule of thumb: do not feed anything bigger than the space between your blue tongue skink’s eyes.
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Levels should be less than 30% throughout the enclosure. You can easily measure the humidity percentages by using a digital hygrometer (humidity gauge). Dial hygrometers tend to give off inaccurate measurements. During the shedding process, blue tongue skinks should be bathed once every other day by submerging their bodies into a pool of water; you may use a bathroom sink or tub (depending on the size of your blue tongue skink), making sure you keep their head above the water. Water depth must be shallow enough for the blue tongue skink to keep its head above the water while standing.
A water bowl should be present in the blue tongue skinks enclosure at all times. They will drink often, so it is very important that you have fresh and clean water available daily. If you notice that your blue tongue skink has not been drinking or does not know how to drink out of the water bowl, you should try dripping water on his snout to see if he will drink that way. You can also mist your blue tongue skink and let him lick the water droplets off his face. Be careful you don’t mist too much or you will increase humidity levels in the enclosure. Too much humidity can cause respiratory infections.
Water should be changed out every other day. Food bowls must be cleaned out every often as well.
Some good choices of substrates to use are aspen shavings, carefresh, coconut fiber, and repti-bark. Personally, I like aspen shavings. It’s light, cheap, and easy for your blue tongue skink to burrow in. If you choose aspen as a substrate, be sure to get the shaved type. Carefresh is another type of bedding (made for hamsters) that some blue tongue skink owners use and have said works well. They say it is very absorbent and soft. Do not use any type of pine or cedar products when picking out substrate.
If you are into reading, check out this blue tongue skink care article.
Note: The information on this blue tongue skink care sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care.