Why Blue Tongue Skinks Are So Great
The blue tongue skink makes the best pet reptile because they are easy to care for, and are very affectionate for a lizard. Lets get into more about them so you can see why they are such amazing pets to keep.
More info About the Blue Tongue Skink
Blue tongue skinks are a species of medium sized old world lizard. Adults max out at about 18-24 inches, so they are big enough not to get lost easily but small enough for easy handling.
Blue tongue skinks are great because they are a big lizard that can live in a small tank. A 36 inch long terrarium will comfortably house one for life, and not take up much room, with makes them great pets for people short on space.
These lizards are omnivorous, meaning they need both meat and plants. To most people, this means having to feed bugs, an idea that creeps many people out. Well the good news is, despite being omnivorous, blue tongue skinks don't need bugs as apart of their diet!
So, if they don't need bugs, then what else can you feed them? For protein, a high quality dog or cat food will do. I make my lizard a salad of collard greens, carrots, butternut squash, green beans, apple slices, and blue buffalo cat food. Make sure after a day or two you take out your skink's food bowl so they don't get sick from eating it.
Depending on the species of blue tongue skink, humidity needs can differ. Ones such as the Indonesian and Tanimbar need higher humidity than ones such as the Northern and Eastern.
For light bulbs, you only need one day time bulb of 100 watts. You can choose to use a UVB bulb as well or use calcium supplement powder in your skink's food for vitamin d3 supply. Without enough d3, your skink could possibly develop metabolic bone disease, so this is very important. Also make sure the cool end of your skink's cage does not drop below 70 degrees.
Blue tongue skinks don't need much in their cage, except for a water bowl, and two hides, one on the warm side, one on the cool side.
Blue tongue skinks are very affectionate for a lizard, sometimes even to the point of seeming mammal like. Mine has never even attempted to bite me unless she thought my hand was food, and she comes up to see me in her tank. One time she even came up to me while I was lying on my side and cuddled with me. While every blue tongue is different, expect yours to have a very good temperament and always be down for handling.
The only con is that they are expensive and hard to find. I live in Arkansas, and I had to drive up to New York to get mine from a breeder. She had one baby left and that was because someone backed out on it. And this would be considered lucky. You might not even get your baby for a few years, since there are often waiting lists for them, but when you do it will be worth it.
Not only do blue tongue skinks make amazing pet reptiles, but amazing pets in general. Whether you are a child or an adult, a beginner to the reptile hobby or a person with experience, the blue tongue skink could certainly make a good pet for you.
"Blue tongues have many fans, due in no small part to the beautiful namesake tongue. Adults average 18 to 22 inches in length, and they make amazing pets and are great for kids because they are so easily handleable." -Reptiles Magazine
Shanahan Stevens (author) from Arkansas, USA on May 30, 2018:
These pictures are not mine, but I do have some of my skink on my tumblr under the same name. I will admit, tegus also rock!
Dr Mark from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 30, 2018:
Well, I am a Tegu guy, so kind of hard to convince, but I liked your article. Are those your pictures? If not, I would love to see some of your own blue tail.