Blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua scincoides): is a large reptile about 450 millimetres long (including the tail).
The species is also known as the Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard and occurs from south-eastern South Australia through Victoria, eastern New South Wales most of Queensland to the Northern Territory and north-western Western Australia.
The Blue-tongued Lizard is brown to silvery-grey above. There are a number of irregular cross-bands on the body and tail. These are usually dark brown. There is a dark streak from each eye to the ears. This streak often joins one of the cross-bands. The ventral (lower body) surface ranges from white to pale yellow.
The blue tongue is its most distinctive feature. The tongue is stuck out (see image) and a hissing noise made as defence mechanisms. Although these are a trifle frightening “Blue-tongues” are harmless.
Blue-tongued Lizards are found in a variety of habitats including: coastal heath, forests and woodlands to high altitude forests and grasslands.
They have a cosmopolitan diet. Insects, snails, carrion, wildflowers, fruits and berries all figure in their diet. “Blue-tongues” living near humans have been seen to relish Paw-paw fruit. They are welcomed in gardens because of their appetite for snails and slugs. Please note: if you have “Blue-tongues” in the garden please be careful using snail bait.
“Blue-tongues” are viviparous (live-bearing) and are usual active during the day.
The northern populations have different colours. They are brown above with pale transverse markings. The eye to ear streaks may be absent.
There are six species in the genus. Five are confined to Australia and the sixth is found in New Guinea and Indonesia.
One Australian species, Tiliqua adelaidensis, may be extinct.
The Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard has the widest distribution in Australia. At least one species may be found in most parts of Australia.
The specimen illustrated was rescued from a pond at Yallaroo. This is the first time we have observed a “Blue-tongue” at Yallaroo.
Its body was rather swollen and we suspect that this lizard may be a pregnant female. If so our “Blue-tongue” population may increase.
In all our years of observing wildlife this is the largest “Blue-tongue” we have ever seen.