Blue Tongue Skink Care
Blue Tongue Skinks are native to Australia. There are different species and subspecies, including the northern and eastern blue tongues as well as the indonesian blue tongue. This guide is specifically for the northern blue tongue which is one of the most popular, however the care for these skinks is very similar among all species so most of the information can be applied to all.
Babies can be housed in a 10 to 20 gallon cage but will outgrow it quickly. Adults should be kept in a 3 foot by 2 foot cage. Floor space is more important then height as these skinks pretty much never climb. They have very short and stubby feet which are not ideal for climbing, Instead you will commonly find blue tongues burrowing into their substrate.
Blue tongues like to burrow and hide so straw or aspen bedding makes a great choice. You can also use paper products like newspaper which is easy to clean however I would add some hiding places if your using newspaper to allow your blue tongue to feel more secure in its cage. Even if you are using a substrate that they can burrow into it's still good to have extra hides as this helps to reduce stress.
The cool end of the cage should be 75-80 degrees with the hot spot of the cage being 90-100 degrees. UVB lighting is a good idea however many people keep their blue tongues without it and have great success.
Always provide a water bowl for your blue tongue. The humidity should be relatively low around 25 to 40 percent is ideal. You do not want it so humid where the bedding is wet or there is condensation on the sides of the cage because this can cause molt growth, and cause respiratory issues for your animal. Typically a large water bowl and some light misting when your animal is shedding will be all you need.
Many people feed their blue tongue a primary diet of dog or cat food, using one without grain or filler products is a good idea. It seems to help them grow faster and better by not having to process the grains or other fillers found in lower quality dog food. You should also feed fruits and vegetables like kale, lettuce, green beans, beet greens, cabbage, squash, apples, bananas, berries, water melon, and pretty much any other commonly eaten fruits or vegetables. The fruit should be given much less occasionally, feeding mostly vegetables and the dog and cat food. Never feed citrus, avocados, rhubarb, and onions.
Blue tongue skinks do really well with handling and have great personalities typically. They are heavy and large lizards so any fall can be really bad for them. Be sure to support the animal fully and try to hold the animal over soft surfaces or close to the ground just in case. They rarely bite and are very curious, which is another reason why blue tongues are such great pets.
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