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Blue Tongue Skink

Blue Tongue Skink Care Guide
 

Getting a blue tongue skink lizard as a pet can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both beginner and experienced reptile enthusiasts. These unique lizards are known for their distinctive blue tongues, gentle demeanor, and easygoing nature, making them excellent companions. Blue tongue skinks are relatively low maintenance compared to other reptiles, requiring simple habitat setups and straightforward care routines. Their curious and interactive behavior, coupled with their hardy constitution, ensures that they can provide years of enjoyment and fascination. For those looking to add a touch of the exotic to their lives without overwhelming care demands, a blue tongue skink is an ideal choice.
 

Cage Setup

Begin with a 40-gallon breeder enclosure with a mesh lid (36x18x16) or larger enclosure (48x24x18). As terrestrial creatures, they need ample floor space. They will reach their adult size of 18 to 24 inches within their first year. You can always upgrade to a bigger size enclosure when they reach adult size. Equip the enclosure with a UVB light bulb (10.0% - 12.0%) and a basking bulb (75w - 100w). Position the basking bulb on one side of the enclosure, maintaining a basking temperature of around 95°F - 105°F, while keeping the cool side around 80°F. Because household temperatures can vary, use a digital thermometer to monitor and adjust the basking temperature as needed. Maintain humidity between 40% and 60% and provide a humid hide on the cool side. For substrate, use a mixture of coco fiber, cypress mulch, and organic soil, ensuring a deep layer for burrowing. Place a small water dish on the cool side. You can also add some plants like pothos or ferns. Your skink may look dull in color when it is about to shed. Shedding will lasts a few days and then your skink will have its normal color back. 

 

Feeding

For baby skinks, feed them every morning until they are 4 months old, then transition to every other day. A good rule of thumb is to portion the food to the size of their head. We recommend grain-free wet dog food such as Purina Beyond chicken and turkey flavors, and occasionally Repashy Bluey Buffet as a treat. While daily food offerings are made, skinks may not eat at every feeding especially if they are about to shed. Skinks generally enjoy a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Lightly sprinkle calcium without D3 on their food once a week. At 4 months old, you can occasionally offer live foods like roaches, hornworms, superworms, and mealworms. Once your skink reaches 6 months, feed them every other day until they are a year old, after which you can feed them once or twice a week.

 

Handling

We handle our baby skinks twice a day to socialize them, interacting with them daily to help them acclimate with minimal stress. While many skinks may hiss and puff in their enclosure, this is usually just a bluff and they rarely bite. Once out of their habitat, they typically calm down. Don’t let defensive behavior intimidate you, as this can reinforce bad habits. Hold your skink for at least 5 to 10 minutes each day after feeding to build trust. Always support their front and hind legs when handling them, using two hands if necessary.

Common Feeding Issues

A frequent concern is “Why is my baby skink not eating?” Several factors could be at play. Ensure their habitat is at the proper temperature: the ambient temperature should be around 90°F, with multiple hides provided near both the basking spot and the cool side. The basking spot should have heat for 8 to 12 hours daily, and the night temperature should not drop below the low 70s. Another reason could be stress from moving to a much larger enclosure than they are used to. If the enclosure is glass, covering the sides and back can help make them feel more secure. Dimming the lights until they acclimate, providing plenty of hiding places, and placing food close to their favorite hide spot can also help.

 

Feel free to reach out with any questions at evolverreptiles@yahoo.com.

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