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Northern Blue-tongued Skink

Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House

Did You Know?

  • These skinks are named for their UV-reflective blue tongues. When threatened, they puff up their body, hiss, and stick their tongue out.
  • Sometimes, northern blue-tongued skinks move like snakes, wriggling from side to side with limbs tucked in.
  • These skinks are ovoviviparous; eggs hatch inside their body, so that females give birth to live young.

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Scientific Name: Tiliqua scincoides intermedia

Class: Reptiles

Diet: Plant matter and invertebrates

Range: Northern and eastern Australia

Endangered Status: Least Concern

More Information

Northern blue-tongued skinks are a subspecies of blue-tongued skink. As they can get to 24 inches in length, they are one of the largest skinks in the world. They are sandy brown with dark brown bars, and they have large heads and small legs. Their tapered tails can be shed and regrown to escape predators. They have transparent lower eyelids to protect their eyes from dust.

These reptiles are most active in the early mornings. They are also generally secretive and do not stray far from shelter. As they are not particularly agile, they hunt slow-moving prey. Northern blue-tongued skinks breed once a year. Females can have up to 15 offspring at a time after a 100-day incubation period.

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