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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Blue Tongued Skink

Blue-Tongued Skink

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Traits & behavior

Omnivores
This means they eat both plant matter and live insects.

Diurnal
This means they're active during the day and sleep at night.

Solitary
Blue-tongued skinks are healthiest and happiest living alone.

Burrowers
Skinks love to burrow in their bedding.
 

Things to remember

Supervision
Always supervise children when they're interacting with your blue-tongued skink.

Handling
Give your pet 3-4 days to adjust to his new home, then try holding him for short amounts of time. Most skinks can be tamed with frequent, gentle handling. But, be aware that they have powerful mouths and will bite if feeling threatened. Take care to never handle him by the tail - it could break off.

Food safety

  • Insects - Remove uneaten insects from the habitat at the end of the day; do not allow to remain in habitat overnight
  • Fruits & vegetables - Fresh foods require their own dish and should be removed from the habitat after four hours to prevent spoilage

Safety & cleanliness
Please remember that all pets may bite or scratch, and may transmit disease to humans. Keep your pet's home clean and wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning his home. Infants, young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and the infirm or elderly are at greater risk of infections and should use caution when in contact with the pet or its habitat. Consult your doctor for more information.
 

Nutrition

Crickets & worms
Blue-tongued skinks eat live, "gut loaded" (you'll feed the insects a special supplement so they have extra nutrients) crickets, mealworms, superworms or waxworms.

Feeding frequency & amount (insects)
Feed juveniles twice a day; adults 3-4 times a week. Offer an amount that can be consumed by the end of the day.

Fruits & vegetables
Offer 1-2 teaspoons of fresh kale, collard greens, carrots, squash and berries daily.

Calcium dust

"Dust" the insects with a calcium supplement twice a week - ask an associate for details.

Water
Provide drinking water in a shallow bowl and change it daily.

Health

Signs of a healthy blue-tongued skink:

  • Curious, active behavior
  • Clear, alert eyes
  • Muscular tail
  • Sheds regularly during growth
  • Eats and drinks normally
  • Breathes easily
  • Well-formed droppings every 2-3 days

Things to watch for:

  • Runny droppings or red streaks in droppings for more than two days
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Eating or drinking less; weight loss
  • Swollen joints
  • Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth

If you notice any of the signs above, please consult an experienced Reptile Veterinarian as soon as possible.
 

Habitat

Housing
Use a 40-gallon or larger, glass terrarium with a screen lid for proper ventilation.

Hiding place
Provide a natural or artificial wood or rock hiding area lined with moist peat moss. Mist moss to maintain moisture level.

Humidity
Keep the humidity level at or below 50%. A hygrometer (humidity gauge) will help you keep track.

Temperatures

  • Day - Maintain a daytime temperature between 70-85° F
  • Basking - Use an under-tank heater or heat rock to create a basking area of 90-95° F
  • Night - Maintain a nighttime temperature between 60-75° F
  • Place a thermometer at each end of the home to monitor temperatures

Lighting
Use a daytime UVA/UVB fluorescent bulb for approximately 12 hours of light per day to help your pet process calcium.

Bedding
Line the terrarium floor with 3"-6" of bark bedding or calcium sand. Clean out waste weekly and change bedding at least once a month.

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