Blotched Blue-tongued Lizard - Reptile Encounters

Blotched Blue-tongued Lizard

Scientific name:

Tiliqua nigrolutea

Other names:

Southern blue-tongued lizard, ‘Blotchy’. Different locales have different names e.g. Alpine, Lowlands, Tasmanian or Flinders Island blotched blue-tongued lizard.


Least concern

Blotched blue-tongues can get to between 40 and 0cm in length, with roughly a third of that being tail. The back is mostly black with varying amounts of light brown or grey blotches. These blotches can show varying amounts of yellow, pink, red, orange or even blue depending on the area in which the lizard was found. The head is usually grey and is wide and triangular. As the name suggests, they have a bright blue fleshy tongue.

Small insects, snails and slugs, as well as shoots and leaves, berries, fungi, fruit and flowers. Younger animals eat mostly animal matter, but more vegetation enters the diet as they grow.

Heathlands, woodlands, grasslands and alpine meadows in the higher altitudes where they are found. Further south, they frequent wet forests and damp sclerophyll ecosystems, as well as other cool, moist habitats all the way to coastal dunes.

Cool and sometimes cold temperate zones in the south-eastern corner of the country – From the Blue Mountains and through the Southern highlands of NSW to ACT, Victoria, Tasmania and other southern offshore islands.

This large diurnal and terrestrial skink forages widely and basks in open sunny patches amongst dense ground vegetation. They also tend to bask on roads, which unfortunately tends to get them run over by passing cars. They will bury themselves in deep leaf litter and under timber over winter when they are inactive.

Like other blue-tongued lizard species, this species has an impressive threat display. They will flatten their body, open their mouth wide and sticking out a flattened blue tongue, whilst emitting a loud hissing sound

They also give birth to live young, and females will often have 3-10 offspring in a litter. They have been recorded living for over 10 years in the wild, and are known to get to over 30 in captivity quite regularly.
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