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Encyclopedia > Blue tongued lizard
Blue-tongued Skink
Conservation status: Secure

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Family: Scincidae
Genus: Tiliqua

Blue-tongued lizards are the largest members of the skink family. There are six species of blue-tongues which occur in Australia. They also occur in parts of Indonesia and New Guinea. As suggested by its name, its distinguishing characteristic is a blue tongue. All species are relatively large (10-50cm), heavy-bodied, short-limbed, and broad with a distinct head and short, tapered tail. Download high resolution version (864x750, 229 KB)This is an image I took myself using an Olympus C8080W digital camera. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms (as opposed to folk taxonomy). ... Phyla Subregnum Parazoa Porifera (sponges) Subregnum Agnotozoa Placozoa (trichoplax) Orthonectida (orthonectids) Rhombozoa (dicyemids) Subregnum Eumetazoa Radiata (unranked) (radial symmetry) Ctenophora (comb jellies) Cnidaria (coral, jellyfish, anemones) Bilateria (unranked) (bilateral symmetry) Acoelomorpha (basal) Orthonectida (parasitic to flatworms, echinoderms, etc. ... Typical Classes Subphylum Urochordata - Tunicatas Ascidiacea Thaliacea Larvacea Subphylum Cephalochordata - Lancelets Subphylum Myxini - Hagfishes Subphylum Vertebrata - Vertebrates Petromyzontida - Lampreys Placodermi (extinct) Chondrichthyes - Cartilaginous fishes Acanthodii (extinct) Actinopterygii - Ray-finned fishes Actinistia - Coelacanths Dipnoi - Lungfishes Amphibia - Amphibians Reptilia - Reptiles Aves - Birds Mammalia - Mammals Chordates (phylum Chordata) include the vertebrates, together with... Orders See text. ... Suborders Amphisbaenia - Worm lizards Sauria- Lizards Serpentes - Snakes Squamata (scaled reptiles) is the largest recent order of reptiles, including lizards and snakes. ... Groups Lepidosauromorpha Archosauromorpha Sauria is a clade of the reptilian family tree, that includes all living diapsids, as well as their common ancestor and all its extinct descendents, which date back to Permian times. ... Genera many—see text Skinks are reptilians belonging to suborder Sauria, and there to the superfamily Scincomorpha, the same as the true lizards. ... Genera many—see text Skinks are reptilians belonging to suborder Sauria, and there to the superfamily Scincomorpha, the same as the true lizards. ...

  • Tiliqua adelaidensis Pygmy Blue Tongue Skink
  • Tiliqua gigas gigas Indonesian Blue Tongue Skink
  • Tiliqua multifasciata Central Blue-Tongued Skink
  • Tiliqua nigrolutea Blotched Blue-Tongued Skink
  • Tiliqua occipitalis Western Blue-Tongued Skink
  • Tiliqua rugosa Shingleback Skink
  • Tiliqua scincoides scincoides Eastern Blue-Tongued Skink
  • Tiliqua scincoides intermedia Northern Blue-Tongued Skink

These lizards occupy a range of habitats from desert, semi-arid savannah, woodland and temperate suburban areas through to tropical jungle. They are omnivorous, and may feed on berries, flowers and other plant material, fungi, insects, spiders, or other small animals, carrion, and are very partial to snails and slugs. They may grow up to 60 cm (depending on the species). The Blotched Blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua nigrolutea) is a reptile with a long blue tongue. ...

Solitary for most of the year, mating occurs in September-November. Pair bonding may occur over successive years (Bull 1988). The young are born (live) 3-5 months after mating (December-April). Litters may have 5-18 individuals.

Predators include kookaburras, raptors, and snakes (e.g. Pseudonaja textilis, Mulga snake) (Valentic 1996), cats, dogs, and humans. When a blue-tongue is threatened it will face the threat opening its mouth wide sticking out its blue tongue in an attempt to scare away the threat. Species Dacelo gaudichaud Dacelo leachii Dacelo novaeguineae Dacelo tyro Kookaburras are very large terrestrial kingfishers native to Australia and New Guinea. ... Orders Accipitriformes     Cathartidae     Pandionidae     Accipitridae     Sagittariidae Falconiformes     Falconidae A bird of prey or raptor is a bird that hunts its food, especially one that preys on mammals or other birds. ...

The Blotched and Eastern Blue Tongued skinks make great, low maintenance pets, and if hand raised have a great temperament. In Australia, it is illegal to be in possession of a Blue Tongued lizard without a Class 1 Reptile Keeper's License, as per the requirements of the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Obtaining a license is easy, however possessing this skink without a license, or capturing one from the wild, can result in heavy fines and imprisonment. In the US this species does not require a permit like other species of this lizard. Some specimens have lived for thirty years in captivity.


  • Bull, C. M. 1988. Mate fidelity in an Australian lizard Trachydosaurus rugosus (Scincidae). Copeia 1987(3): 749-757.
  • Bull, C. M. 1990. Comparison of displaced and retained partners in a monogamous lizard Tiliqua rugosa. Australian Wildlife Research 17: 135-140.
  • Valentic, R. A. 1996. A prey record of the Eastern Blue-tongue Tiliqua scincoides for the common brown snake Pseudonaja textilis. Monitor. Journal of the Victorian Herpetelogical Society 8(3): 155.

Captivity & Pet Care and Further Information

Caresheet, forum, facts, history, photos, breeders, classifieds:

Bluetongeskinks.net Community! http://bluetongueskinks.net



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