Can Blue Tongue Skinks Live Together? Guide On Housing Skinks
If you already have one Blue tongue skink, most likely you have fallen in love with this beautiful lizard so much that you want to get another one. But the question is can Blue tongue skinks live together? Yes, they can. However, it comes with risks such as fighting which can be fatal.
If you have mixed feelings about the topic can Blue Tongue skinks live together, this guide will help you make up your mind. To help you with this, we are looking at the following topics:
- Factors that determine if skinks can be kept in the same tank
- Possible outcomes of housing skinks together
- First hand feedback from owners that have housed skinks together
Can Blue Tongue Skinks Live Together? – Factors
The factors that you need to consider before deciding can Blue tongue skinks live together are:
- Are they social animals
- Personality of the individual skinks
- Tank size
- Species of Blue tongue skink you’re housing
- Gender of the skinks you want to house
- Age of skinks
Are Blue Tongue Skinks Social Animals?
In the wild, Blue tongue skinks are known to be solitary animals. They will only meet up when it’s time to mate. who only come together to mate.
Therefore, if you want to house skinks together because you’re worried they might be lonely, don’t be! That’s how they like it.
Personality Of The Skinks
Another important factor to consider when deciding can Blue Tongue skinks live together is the personality of the individual skinks.
Similar to humans, skinks have different personalities. For instance, some Blue tongue skink are docile, friendly and can tolerate other skinks. On the other hand, some are quite feisty, territorial and can start fights.
When deciding if you should house skinks together, it’s important to take into account each skink’s personality. Although, some skinks’s personalities can get along and live together just fine, they are still quite unpredictable.
Important factor when housing skinks together is their enclosure. Blue Tongue skinks can’t live together in a tank that’s 40 gallons or smaller. This would result in them fighting over the basking spot and stress from being too cramped up.
Then, you might ask can Blue Tongue skinks live together in a larger enclosure? If you have a large outdoor enclosure or pit, the risk of your skinks fighting and getting stressed is much lower.
Furthermore, you need to ensure that you double up on everything such as basking spot, hides and basking lamps.
Type Of Blue Tongue Skinks
So, if they have friendly personalities and a large enough living space, can Blue Tongue skinks live together? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Another factor that determines Blue Tongue skink personality and behaviour is the type of Blue Tongue skinks you’re housing together.
For instance, Blotchies, Northerns, Shingleback and Easterns are most likely to get along and fight less. Whereas, Western skinks are recommended to be housed on their own.
The key to successfully hosing Blue tongue skinks together is understanding the moods and behaviors of the reptiles in isolation as well as when together.
Gender Of Skinks You Want To House
Another factor that plays a major role in deciding can Blue Tongue skinks live together is the skinks gender. For instance, males will naturally be more territorial and end up fighting amongst each other.
This is especially true during breeding season when they would be competing for female attention. They will display this behaviour regardless if there is a female in the enclosure.
The safest gender combinations when housing skinks together are:
- Females only
- Female and male. The male will probably tolerate the female especially during breeding period. However, the female can get stressed from the male chasing up and trying to mate
Even with the relatively safe combinations mentioned above, it’s always essential to observe your skinks’ interactions and separate them at the first sign of aggression.
An important deciding factor in the debate can Blue Tongue skinks live together is the age of the skinks.
For instance, if you raise the skinks in the same enclosure from a young age, they are more likely to get along as they would be used to each other.
On the other hand, if you try to introduce and adult skink to the tank where you already have another adult, they might become territorial.
What Are Experienced Skink Owners Saying?
“There was case only a while ago of 2 “best friend” skinks that had been together for years attacking and causing major damage to each other. Even experienced aus keepers will not house all skinks together. Some don’t get along from the start, some don’t get along in certain situations, and some get along fine until… You risk the health and lives of your animals. And no, a 40g breeder is not big enough to house 2 skinks, you’d want something bigger, hopefully an outdoor pit, with plenty of places for one to hide from the other.”
“Depends on type of BTS, but generally it’s a bad idea, as we often get cases where BTS live together for a while then suddenly get aggressive. Some experienced keepers will keep BTS together in groups.”
“I think it would depend on the nature of the individual skink. Some are quite docile and submissive, and some are dominant or even openly aggressive. I feel I could house two of mine together but the third one there would be no way. In any case, I’m not prepared to take the risk with any of them. The risk is, it doesn’t need to be continual or frequent fighting. Just one act of aggression, just one bite from their powerful jaws in the wrong spot is enough to do serious damage.”
“one thing is species i have two shinglebacks housed together with no worries but there particular species are very docile, another thing is space in my outdoor pit i can house 8 blueys at a time with no worries, another thing would be to make 100% sure they are male and female or else you may have an issue ”
Possible Outcomes Of Housing Skinks Together
Now that we looked at all the factors that you should consider before housing skinks together, you should also be aware of all the possible outcomes.
The worst outcome of Blue Tongue skinks living together is fighting. This can lead to stress and serious injury such as losing fingers, nail or even its tail. Another unwanted result of skinks living together is diseases. For instance, if one gets parasites, the others will also get infected.
Always, keep an eye on what your skink is trying to tell you. For instance, noises such as whislitng or huffing can mean they are uncomfortbale. To learn more what whistling could mean, click here Why Is My Blue Tongue Skink Whistling? Causes
The best possible outcome of Blue Tongue skinks living together is your skinks tolerating each other and not fighting. For best chance of achieving this scenario, do the following:
- Provide your skinks with large enclosure ideally an outside pit
- Only house together skinks that are relatively docile and friendly
- House skinks together from the following subspecies: Blotchies, Northerns and Easterns
- House skinks together from a young age
- Remember that the best combinations to house together are either females only or male and female
In this article, we tried to settle the debate can Blue tongue skinks live together? Ideally you should keep each skink in a separate enclosure. This way you’d be avoiding unnecessary injury and stress to your animals.
However, if you’re determined to keep skinks together, it’s essential to provide them with a large enough enclosure and try to avoid housing Westerns together.
Blue Tongue skinks will be happiest and healthiest when living on their own. Therefore, it’s important to ask yourself if the reason for housing multiple skinks together is worth it.
Related Topics Q&A
Can You House A Blue Tongue Skink And A Bearded Dragon?
If it’s not recommended for Blue Tongue skinks to live together, what about Blue Tongue skink and a Bearded dragon? These two very popular reptile pets are also not the a good combination to keep in the same enclosure.
As Bearded dragons should strictly live alone, housing them with a Blue tongue skink is not recommended.
The only way to house a Bearded dragon with a skink is to raise them in the same enclosure from a very young age. This way they will get used to each other and the chance of injury and fights is much lower.
What Are The Different Blue Tongue Skink Types?
There are two types of Blue Tongue skinks – Indonesian and Australian.
The Indonesian subtypes of Blue tongue skinks include:
- Classic Indonesian blue tongue skinks
- Merauke blue tongue skink
- Kei Island blue tongue skink
- Irian Jaya blue tongue skink
Australian subtypes of Blue tongue skinks include:
- Tanimbar blue tongue skink
- Northern blue tongue skink
- Eastern blue tongue skink
- Western blue tongue skink
- Central blue tongue skink
- Blotched blue tongue skink
- Pygmy blue tongue skink
To read the full guide with pictures on the different types of Blue tongue skinks, click here