The Ultimate Care Guide For Blue Tongue Skinks

 The Ultimate Care Guide For Blue Tongue Skinks

How Do You Take Care Of A Blue Tongue Skink?


Blue-tongue skinks need a 55-gallon enclosure as adults. Their enclosures need to be around 85 degrees Fahrenheit and their diet mostly consists of 40% plants and 60% animals. 



Blue-tongue skinks can live in a Zilla tank or an aquarium. If you have a baby skink, they can live comfortably in a 10 or 20-gallon tank. Once they become full grown, they will need a 55-gallon enclosure or larger. 


Your enclosure needs to be well ventilated to allow the tank to hold in humidity and not over-heat. This is why we recommend any Zilla enclosures because they come with mesh roofs that allow proper air flow throughout the tank. 


The substrate you will need for the enclosure needs to be free of any dyes or chemicals. Substrate needs to be soft as well on your skink’s feed and belly while in wanders in its enclosure. Peat moss, calcium based sand, or reptile carpet are the best substrate options. 


Avoid using pebbles or any sharp mulch. They may accidentally ingest their substrate while they hunt for their food. The calcium based sand won’t cause impaction and they won’t be able to accidentally eat their reptile carpet. 


Once you have laid down the substrate, you need to add some aesthetic touches to the enclosure. Give your skink a really nice basking spot under their heat lamp. A branch or rock platform will be a great place for your skink to get some heat. Place a hiding in the cool side of the tank as well. A large rock cave or log will be a nice place for cooling off. Adding fake plants, leaves, and branches will create a more natural environment. 

Lighting And Temperature


The enclosure temperature for your blue-tongue skink needs to be 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit under the basking side. This temperature can be achieved using a ceramic heat bulb. You can hang the bulb over the top of the enclosure. Do not let the bulb touch the roof of the tank. There are stands that you can attach to the tank that will allow the light to hang directly over the mesh roof. 


The cool side of the enclosure needs to be between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. You do not need any basking light over this side of the enclosure. The temperature should not drop below 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Blue-tongue skinks needs warmer temperatures at night. 


You can use a heat pad under the enclosure to keep the tank warm at night. We recommend that you buy a thermometer to know the exact temperature of the enclosure. 


Blue-tongue skinks require full spectrum UVA/UVB lighting as well. The UVB bulbs will help them with digestion and to get enough vitamin D. You can get lights attached to hoods from ZooMed. These lights need to be replaced every 6 months to a year because they will lose their potency. 

Water and Humidity


For most blue-tongue skinks species, the humidity level needs to be up to 80%. This can be achieved with daily misting and a shallow water dish. The substrate we recommended will also help hold in humidity. You can get a humidity gauge that will accurately show you where the humidity levels are. 


Watery greens, a drinking dish, and daily misting will be great for your skink’s health. Having proper humidity levels are important because they help with digestion, prevent respiratory infections, and allow for proper shedding. 


Replace their water bowls daily with fresh water. Clean their bowls regularly to prevent bacteria build-up. 



Baby skinks that are 3 months old or younger need to be fed every single day. Juvenile skinks that are 3-8 months old need to eat about three times a week. Adults that are older than 8 months need to eat 1-2 times a week. Your skink will need to eat a variety of plants and animals as well. Once they become adults, their diet needs to consist of 40% plants and 60% animals. 


Here is a list of plants that you can feed your blue-tongue skink:

  1. shredded squash
  2. collard greens
  3. bell peppers
  4. carrots
  5. dandelions

Here is a list of animals and insects you can feed your blue-tongue skink:

  1. crickets
  2. roaches
  3. eggs
  4. live or frozen-thawed rodents
  5. earthworms
  6. silkworms

All insects and animals need to be store-bought to prevent passing parasites to your skink. The insects need to be dusted with a vitamin or calcium powder supplement. The insects should be gut-loaded as well. You can find gut-loaded cricket food in the pet store. 


Temperament And Handling


Blue-tongue skinks are very popular because of their docile temperaments. Before you try to hold your skink, allow them a few weeks to adjust to their new enclosure. If you recently purchased a baby skink, let them grow a little bit because you are much larger than they are. You want handling to be as stress free as possible for them. 


Blue-tongue skinks rely on their sense of smell. You can teach them to be comfortable with you based on your scent. Place your hand in their enclosure a few times a week. Give them a chance to get used to your scent and come to your hand. Once they start recognizing you, you can start to try and hold them.


When holding your skink, you need to give their bodies and tail a lot of support. This can be done by sliding your hand under their bellies to pick them up. Never try and grab them by their tail and use slow movements. If they are in the middle of their shed cycle, you need to leave them alone. Avoid pulling any shed off. This will hurt them and cause them a lot of stress. 

Wrapping Up


Blue-tongue skinks are incredibly popular for their temperament and their easy maintenance. If they are provided with proper heat and food, they will grow to be happy and healthy. Take your time trying to get your skink to be comfortable being held as well. You will have a happy skink if you follow this guide. 

Jade Messieh

Proud bearded dragon, tortoise, crested gecko, and green tree python mom. I've always been passionate about animals and hope to help other reptile & amphibian enthusiasts along their journey!

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