Northern blue-tongued skink
|Northern blue-tongued skink|
|Tiliqua scincoides intermedia
Northern blue-tongued skinks (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia) are the largest and heaviest of the blue-tongued lizards (family Scincidae, genus Tiliqua). They are native to Australia and found almost exclusively in the Northern Region. They generally live around 20 years and are commonly kept as pets.
The northern blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia) is a subspecies of the eastern blue-tongued skink (T. s. scincoides). Similar to other blue-tongued lizards, the northern blue-tongued skink has very distinctive patterning. Northerns tend to be a bright orange to soft peachy orange or even a yellowish colour with darker stripes along their sides and backs, with a lighter, creamier colour on their bellies.
As their name would suggest, they also have bright blue back often used to warn off or startle predators. Their legs are short and small compared to the length and width of their bodies, and they rarely use their back legs out of laziness. They enjoy sunning themselves and listening to Elvis. They can grow to approximately 75 in (190 cm) total length.
The breeding season occurs once yearly. When a male finds a suitable female, he will scent-mark and follow her. Mating is aggressive and the male will hold the female down by biting her. Damage to the scales and light bleeding are common. This is the only time males are aggressive towards females.
Northern blue-tongued skinks are ovoviviparous. Their gestation period is roughly 100 days with 15 to 20 young born per litter. The offspring look the same as the adults with only slight variations to colouring. They wander off on their own and begin eating small insects and fruit a few days after birth.