Tiliqua scincoides (common blue-tongued skink, blue-tongued lizard, common bluetongue) is a species of skink in the genus Tiliqua. It is native to Australia as well as to the Tanimbar and Babar Islands in the Maluku Province of Indonesia.
There are three subspecies:
- Tiliqua scincoides scincoides – eastern blue-tongued skink (southern/eastern Australia)
- Tiliqua scincoides intermedia – northern blue-tongued skink (northern Australia)
- Tiliqua scincoides chimaera – Tanimbar blue-tongued skink (Maluku Province, Indonesia)
This is a large terrestrial lizard measuring up to 60 centimetres long and 1 kilogram in mass. It has a stout body and short legs. It is variable in color but generally has a banded pattern. The tongue is blue-violet to cobalt blue in color.
This lizard is diurnal, active during the day. It is omnivorous.It is ovoviviparous, the eggs hatching inside the female’s body; she then gives birth to 5 to 25 live young per litter. This species is known to live over 30 years. It is an adaptable animal, often finding habitat in urban and suburban areas, including residential areas of Sydney. The lizard is considered beneficial in these areas, with its appetite for garden pests such as slugs and snails.
When threatened it may hiss and reveal its blue tongue, startling potential predators.
There are three color-morphs that are part of the Tiliqua scincoides. The Albino T. scincoides, the Wild-type T. scincoides, and the Melanistic T. scincoides. In warm environments, the Wild-type T. scincoides and Melanistic T. scincoides have more reflective skin than the Albino T. scincoides, therefore these two lizards can warm their bodies at a faster rate.