Blue-Tongued Skink

Part 1

Ever since I saw the illustration above several years ago (the artist is my friend the very talented Ian Jackson) I’ve wanted to meet a blue-tongued skink Tiliqua scincoides.

I mean, how cool are they? “I’m not going to run away from you: I can’t be arsed. I’ll just stick my tongue out at you instead, so there!” Fat Lizard Attitude.

Part 2

Sitting reading and eating an apple in the shade of the gum tree in my back garden on Sunday afternoon, I heard rustling and turned around carefully (always turn around carefully in Australia, there are all sorts of critters lurking and smacking their venomous lips) to see… a lovely big blue tongued skink blinking at me.

I gave him my apple core and he licked it and blinked some more, then crushed it and swallowed it.

‘Course my mobile phone memory was full so none of the pictures I took were saved. But now I am going to stalk him at lunchtimes until I get a decent photo. Watch this space.

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12 Responses to Blue-Tongued Skink

  1. piereth says:

    That is lovely!

    Skinks are beautiful, I didn’t realise they came as big as apple core crushing size! Can’t wait to see a pic xx

  2. OmbudsBen says:

    When we first moved to this house we used to find salamanders occasionally in the yard. I always liked finding them, when I’d turn over some bucket or pot. (I’m afraid the raccoons are getting them, lately.)

    But nothing so gorgeous as this. As he licked the apple core, I’m assuming you got a good look at that tongue? I hope you get a picture; very cool.

  3. jolynna says:

    I can’t wait to see the photo either.

    I have seen salamanders and lizards, but not a skink. I love your friend’s illustration.

  4. Truce, as a newby in Oz, a word of warning. While they are slow and non-venomous (rare in Oz) they can still be dangerous. They have an odd jaw which locks when they bite. The only way it can unlock is if the bite is completed. When I was young we had a Kelpie sheep dog named “Skip”. Well, we lived on a sheep farm so we needed a sheep dog. Note – gruesome story ahead – Anyway, one day he monstered a blue-tongue and was bitten on the snout. The only way we could get the skink off was to chop off its body and break its jaws. Unfortunately that took too long for Skip and he suffocated. Quite a traumatic experience for a seven year old!

    Having said that, they are great at keeping snail numbers down! But take care with this beautiful creature.

  5. piereth says:

    I’m assuming the blue piece must therefore be a lure of some kind?? Might not work on snails tho lol

  6. truce says:

    Thanks everyone for your interest, and I will definitely take great care with my new skink acquaintance… I have never felt any need to ‘do a Steve Irwin’ with wild animals and try to grab them, I prefer to keep a respectful distance and just admire them… especially now I’ve heard about Archie’s poor dog Skip. 😦

    But yes, he definitely licked and liked my apple core so I shall use another one to try and get a photo this weekend. (I was thwarted in my plans yesterday because my neighbour was noisily mowing his lawn – not conducive to skink sunbathing clearly!)

    I’ll keep you all posted – nice to meet you Jolynna!

  7. azahar says:

    Thank goodness for Archie’s advice lest you inadvertently got too close.

    An amazing looking beast … really looking forward to a ‘trucie pic’ of him.

    We get those eensy salamanders here that I find totally adorable. But everytime I see one in the house I try to catch it and get it out of here before the cats find it.

    It’s weird. I can go to bed with a salamander or a moth up on the ceiling and wake up in the morning to find it dead on the floor. Do they have a death wish? Or do the cats somehow hypnotise them to come down from where they are quite safe?

  8. truce says:

    We’re about to start the prep for a new book for 10 year olds on Reptiles so I am lobbying hard for the inclusion of the blue-tongued skink on the grounds that it will make a fantastic illustration 🙂

    I’d love to see photos of your eensy salamanders Azahar and yours too Ombudsben!

  9. azahar says:

    Now there’s a challenge. I’ve never thought of taking photos of the wee things, but I’ll try next time. They don’t tend to come into the house very often and they also move really fast. So, don’t hold yer breath.

  10. azahar says:

    If you haven’t seen Archie’s new header yet, check it out. Not sure if it’s exactly like the ones I find here, but it looks very similar.

  11. My new header is of a three inch gecko which was very useful at gobbling up the gianormous mosquitoes from which we were suffering. It could run up walls and across ceilings with great aplomb. Often at night we would have long and involved conversations about Wittgensteinian scenarios. On other occasions we sang excerpts from The Mikado as a duet. Life is so dull here in the city where sanity has partially returned.

  12. I dwell in a frozen wasteland. I’ve not been to the Oz for decades and it has mostly faded from my memory though there is perhaps some sign of my having been there hidden away in some little space near the core of my being.

    So, I feel that it is probably OK if I say what popped into my mind when I read this post (even though it has nothing directly to do with the post). I’m thinking since it is more than a month since the post was written, threadjacking becomes more forgivable.

    On seeing the word “Skink” I thought of two words. Both are words invented by Pippi Longstocking. That’s not quite accurate. I must be living in a dream world. One was invented by the author and another by a translator. The two words are ‘spink’ (in English translation) and ‘spunk’ (in the original Swedish).

    I still don’t know what either of them mean.

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