Blue-tongued skinks are docile lizards that rarely show aggression. They are shy and secretive and seldom stray far from their shelters, which consist of hollow logs and debris. The most peculiar behavior is the use of their bright blue tongue. When disturbed, it gapes its mouth open and sticks out its blue tongue, puffs up its body and hisses loudly. Again, this is a defensive behavior. By puffing out its body this helps the animal look larger than it really is, and the blue tongue is a warning that this animal may be toxic or dangerous. Another behavior possessed by the blue-tongued skink is the ability to lose, and eventually regrow, its tail during a confrontation. Some biologists believe that blue-tongued skinks are a mimic of the venomous death adder. With coloration that resembles the venomous death adder, predators are much more likely to leave these skinks alone.
Enclosure: Most babies can be kept in a 10-gallon aquarium. Full sized adult blue-tongue skinks should be kept in 40 to 55-gallon aquariums or similar enclosures.
Temperature: A temperature gradient of 75°-85°F should be established with a basking area of 90°-95°F during the day. Temperatures should not fall below 70°F at night.
Heat/Light: Temperatures can be maintained with basking bulbs, infra red heat bulbs, and ceramic emitters or under tank heaters and panels. Hot rocks should never be used due to the high risk of burns that can be inflicted on the blue-tongue skink from malfunctioning heat rocks. As with most diurnal species full spectrum light is required. This can be achieved by using special fluorescent bulbs or newer Active UV bulbs. Active UV bulbs also provide heat which may allow you to not have to provide additional heat sources.
Substrate: Cypress mulch (avoid cedar or pine as these may cause long term health issues), a peat moss and sand mixture, and indoor/outdoor carpeting can all be used as substrates.
Diet: Blue-tongue skinks are omnivorous (eating both plant and animal matter). Generally a diet consisting of 60% plant and 40% animal will provide a healthy mix for your blue-tongue skink. Frozen mixed vegetables, various greens, small amounts of high quality dog food, crickets, mealworms, and thawed pre-killed frozen mice can all be fed to your skink. Fresh water should be provided daily.
Maintenance: The enclosure should be spot cleaned daily. A thorough cleaning should be performed on a regular basis, usually once a month.