Blue Tongue Skink Personality – What To Expect
Blue tongue skinks can make great pets. However, before getting this reptile, you need to ensure that they fit in your lifestyle and are the right pet for you. Overall, Blue tongue skink personality is naturally shy but also friendly. Moreover, they can become social and tame with the right care.
However, there’s more to learn about this lizards behaviour before commuting to 20 years which is their lifespan.
In this article, we are looking at the following topics that will help you decide if Blue tongue skink is the right pet for you:
- Blue tongue skink personality traits
- Factors that affect Blue tongue skink personality
- How breed affects Blue tongue skink personality
- What are owners saying about Blue tongue skink personality
Blue Tongue Skink Personality Traits
The best way to describe Blue tongue skink personality is as:
- Escape artists
- You can bond with them
- Shy but can grow to be social
- Curious and playful
- Easy to care for
- Easy to handle
- Wild Blue tongue skinks can be aggressive/defensive
Blue tongue skinks are known for being escape artist. Therefore, during training and bonding, you need to keep an eye on them and provide them with a safe enclosure they can’t escape from.
Once settled and used to human interaction, you can enjoy quality time with your pet such as holding them or letting them take a walk around the room whilst you watch TV.
You Can Bond With Them
Important part of Blue tongue skink personality is that they can bond with their owner. Not only that but overtime they can remember your face and even recognise your voice.
However, it’s important to note that bond can be achieved only if you spend quality time with your lizard – speaking to them and handling them safely.
The first 6 months of their life is essential and that’s the time for them to get used to you and learn social skills. Although naturally shy by nature, Blue tongue skinks can still form excellent bond with their owner.
Shy But Can Grow To Be Social
What do we consider a social animal? Maybe the best example is a dog. Well, reptiles are never going to be as social as dogs. However, some reptiles are definitely considered more social than others.
A shy reptile will hide away from their owner and won’t enjoy being handled. Furthermore, they will try to escape or display signs to tell you to back off such as:
- Hissing or other similar noises
- Making themselves bigger by arching their back
- Jumping at the glass and more
Blue tongue skinks personality is known as naturally shy. However, they can become social if you interact with them daily and gain their trust. This is easiest achieved when the lizard is at a young age but it’s also possible at a later stage if the owner is consistently interacting with them daily.
There are various ways in which you can socialize your Blue tongue skink such as:
- Talking to them – Social interaction is important part of your skink in getting to know you and trusting you
- Holding them safely – Learn how to hold your lizard safely to avoid hurting them and so they can enjoy it
- Hand feeding them – By doing this, they will get used to your scent and associate it with their favourite thing – food. If your lizard is wild caught you should be carful as they might bite at first. However, once you interact with them daily, even the wild caught skinks can be tamed and sozialized
- Rubbing their head gently
- Relaxing on the sofa watching TV whilst they explore the room
Curious And Playful
One of the Blue tongue skink personality trait is curiosity and playfulness. These lizards enjoy exploring and learning new things. For instance, if you ever left them near your trash, they will have a blast!
One way to allow them to be playful and curious is by letting them out for a walk around the room or by setting up small cardboard boxes and blankets to play. However, be careful as your lizard can try and escape. You can avoid this by ensuring all the doors are closed and confine them to one room only.
Exploiting these Blue tongue skink personality traits can help develop their character and improve social interactions.
Wild Blue Tongue Skinks Can Be Aggressive/Defensive
Wild Blue tongue skink personality can be aggressive at first. However, this is more a defence mechanism to protect themselves. They will not attack but are like try to defend themselves by biting if they see you as a threat which they will in the beginning.
You can still tame a wild Blue tongue skink but it can take longer for them to get used to human interaction. This is achieved through daily interaction and consistency from the owner.
Note: Even if the breeder tells you that the Blue tongue skink is home bred, they can be purposely misleading you. To determine if the skink is wild, check for mites or other skin diseases. Wild lizards usually have parasites and skin diseases.
Easy To Care For
One of the Blue tongue skink personality trait is that they are easy going and not high maintenance. Actually, they are one of the easiest reptile pets to keep in the house.
These lizards don’t require a lot of attention and are a great choice for anyone that has a busy lifestyle or simply doesn’t want to constantly interact with their pet.
However, it’s important to note that they have a long lifespan of 15 to 20 years, so it’s quite the commitment. Other than that, they require dry or semi humid habitat and enclosure that is suitable for their size. They can reach up to 2 feet in length and if their tank is too small, it can result in health problems. To learn more about skink’s tank setup, click here Blue Tongue Skink Tank Setup – Step By Step Guide
Part of them being easy to care for includes not having to feed them on regular basis. For instance, feeding them just once a week is fine. Furthermore, they can eat a wide range of foods such as strawberries, raspberries, apples, various vegetables and even meat such as worms, insects and bugs.
Although, Blue tongue skinks don’t require a lot of attention, they should still be provided with good care such as well balanced die. It’s also important to remember – if you want your lizard to be social, you will need to interact with them on daily basis.
Easy To Handle
Any new pet reptile must be allowed time to settle in their new environment before you start handling them. The Blue tongue skink is no exception.
Before getting their pet, most owners want to know if they will be able to hold and play with them. For some owner this type of bonding, through physical touch is a make or break when deciding if this is the right pet for them. If you’re one of these owners, the good news is that one of Blue tongue skink personality traits is that they are easy to handle and they enjoy it once they trust you. Their smooth and hard bodies makes them easy to hold.
However, it’s important to note that you should start handling your new lizard only once they start feeding regularly and are used to their new environment. Another important step is knowing how to safely handle them. If you hurt your lizard whilst handling, that can result in fear and mistrust. It will take time to regain their trust in you handling them.
Holding your Blue tongue skink on regular basis is an important part of taming them and getting them used to your presence.
To learn how to safely handle your Blue tongue skink, scroll down to the Related topic questions.
Factors That Affect Blue Tongue Skink Personality
Although, Blue tongue skins are known for being friendly and docile that’s not always the case. Blue tongue skink personality can be affected by many factors such as:
- Age at which the lizard was bought
- How reputable the breeder is
- Blue tongue skink breed
- Social interactions such as handling during the first 6 months of the lizard’s life
Every Blue tongue skink have a different personality and their behaviours might differ in terms of diet preferences and how they interact with their human.
For instance, some skinks are very shy and will spend majority of their time hiding where they feel safe. This can especially happen if the skink is adopted at an older age or if they are wild.
On the other hand, some skinks enjoy attention and are happy to be handled by their owners. However, this comes with time and once you earn their trust.
It’s important to be patient with your new pet and allow them the time to settle in and get used to their new environment.
Blue Tongue Skink Personality Factors – Breed
After doing extensive research, I have come to the conclusion that Northern Blue tongue skink personality tends to be friendly and energetic. Furthermore, they are more curious, like to explore, enjoy being held, can tolerate a lot of stress and are always up for getting out their tank and doing things.
On the other hand, Tanimbar Blue tongue skinks personality as babies are described as feisty and aggressive. However, as adults they calm down. More likely to hide than explore and play.
Irian Jaya Blue tongue skink is a smaller versions of Northerns. Their personality is known to be less energetic and prone to being grumpy if not interacted with regularly
Merauke Blue tongue skink personality tends to be very calm and friendly, even when wild- caught.
Indonesian Blue tongue skink personality on the other hand, need to first fully trust their owner before allowing them near.
If you want a Blue tongue skink with a friendly personality that enjoys handling and handles stress very well, it’s recommended to get a Northern or Merauke. The main difference is that Northerns are more explorative and outgoing, whilst Meraukes are more cuddly and quiet.
What Are Owners Saying About Blue Tongue Skink Personality
After doing extensive research on what owners are reporting on Blue tongue skink personality, I have put together the following first hand experiences:
“While I only have experience with my one 5-month-old Indo, he’s the sweetest and tamest little guy imaginable. He was just a few days old when I got him, so he’s always been exposed to human contact.”
“I got Indo when she was about 1.5 years old. She was very shy and ran away when anyone entered the room. Never offered to bite or be aggressive she was just scared. I would not have offered her to a kid. It took one year of patience to make her what I would now call easy going”
“My Tanny I would not say was fit for small children either. Very Feisty as a baby. After six to eight months things calmed down (thank goodness)”
“My Northern will pretty much tolerate anything and anyone. Laid back doesn’t even come close to describing him. I would let supervised kids handle him”
“Ideally, if you are looking for tameness, you should consider northerns and Eastern.
All the others can be hit or miss.”
“My northern is a sweetie. Except occasionally when she’s about to shed. Then she becomes TERMINATOR SAMMY”
“everyone who has acquired a baby skink of any species seems to report that it grew up to be a wonderful adult“
“the biggest factor in determining the temperament of an adult skink is the amount of handling and interaction it has with humans during the first 6 months of its life. I say that because I have a few skinks that were handled a lot for the first 6 months, then very little after that, yet they remain calm and easily handled”
Blue tongue skink personality is naturally shy. However, they can become social through daily interactions with their owner. Other Blue tongue skink personality traits include:
- Easy to handle
- Playful and curious
- Easy to care for
Blue tongue skink can make for a great reptile pet. They are good choice for owners that want to interact with their pet aswell as owners that have a busy lifestyle. These lizards don’t require a lot of attention and can live a happy life with minimal interaction.
If you want to hold and play with your lizard regularly, you must put in the work and ensure you interact with them daily for 15 minutes.
Whether the Blue tongue skink is for an adult or a child, they can be a great pet and become an important part of your family.
Related Topics Q&A
Blue Tongue Skink Body Language
When owning Blue tongue skink, it’s important to know what they are trying to tell you through their body language. The guide below can help you navigate your skink’s feelings:
- Annoyed – Short snorting/huffing
- Angry or irritated – Tail flicking/wagging
- Aggressive/ defensive – Long huffs/hisses ; body tilting and puffing
- Telling you to back off – Showing their mouth and tongue
- Happy – casually walking, flicking their tongue, making eye contact
- Nervous – walking in short, quick bursts combined with periods of completely standing still
How To Handle My Blue Tongue Skink?
When handling Blue tongue skink, ensure you follow the steps below:
- Only start handling your lizard once they are fully settled in their new environment
- Start by handling them for 5 minutes or less per session. Once the skink is fully still during handling, increase sessions by 1 minute until your reach 15 minutes
- Support the skink’s whole body across your forearm, including the tail
- Hold them close to the floor or over sofa/bed
- As skinks are defensive and like to hide, avoid loud noises or sudden movements
- Always keep one of your hands visible to make them feel more safe
- Never hold your skink by the tail as once it breaks off, it doesn’t regenerate well and you’ll be causing them unnecessary pain
- When petting them focus on neck, chin and back and avoid touching them on top of their head
- Blue tongue skinks can’t regulate their body temperature. Therefore, you shouldn’t keep them outside their enclosure for too long
- Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling