iHerp Australia Issue 6 - Page 34

Conservationist and wildlife advocate Ben Dessen is Reptiles Department Manager at Kellyville Pets and is passionate about educating newcomers to the reptile hobby. This time it’s back to basics, with one of our most loved and popular native reptiles. Blue-tongue Basics. With a resurgence in popularity over recent years - largely due to the myriad of colour variations now available - the humble blue-tongue has certainly been put back on the herpetological map! What was once considered a common, entry-level animal is now a highly sought-after and prized addition to many experienced reptile keepers collections around Australia. However, for newcomers to the hobby, the blue-tongue still represents a great starting point due to its typically docile nature and general hardiness in captivity (if provided with the right environmental conditions). So, let’s get back to the basics and take a look at the husbandry and care requirements for blue-tongued lizards. largest members of the skink family, with six species native to Australia: General information. The genus Tiliqua is comprised of some of the In the wild, blue-tongues are found right across the continent and inhabit a range of different environ- Eastern Blue-tongue; Tiliqua scincoides. Centralian Blue-tongue; Tiliqua multifasciata. Blotched Blue-tongue; Tiliqua nigrolutea. Western Blue-tongue; Tiliqua occipitalis. Pygmy Blue-tongue; Tiliqua adelaidensis. Shingleback; Tiliqua rugosa. In addition, there is also at least one species found in Indonesia: Indonesian Blue-tongue; Tiliqua gigas. Left: the Eastern or Common Blue- tongue is found throughout much of eastern and northern Australia. Image by Michael Cermak. Above right: it’s not difficult to see how these skinks got their name! Image by lady- photo.