Pink-Tongued Skink

Identifying A Pink-Tongued Skink

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Pink-Tongued Skink (Cyclodomorphus Gerrardii)

Often confused  to its blue-tongued counterpart, the pink-tongued skink is a lizard native to Australia. Popular as pets, the pink-tongued skink is a relatively large lizard that is not venomous. These lizards are predominantly found in the southern and eastern regions of the country, and residents in Queensland and on the Sunshine Coast may spot one or two in their gardens.


About the Pink-Tongued Skink

The pink-tongued skink grows to up to 45cm at maturity and has a slender body. Their tails are long, usually spanning the same length as their body. They have well-developed limbs with long fingers and sharp nails. Males tend to be slightly larger, with broader heads, than females. True to their name, adult pink-tongued skinks have pink tongues! However they are born with a blue tongue that will change colour as they mature. 

These lizards are marbled in appearance, with dark banks spanning the length of their back. They are usually found in colours of white, pinkish, or creamy-brown. Their scales are smooth and can be edged with a darker colour on the head. The tips of their noses are also usually a darker colour.

Unlike their relative, the eastern blue-tongued lizard, pink-tongued skinks have well-formed, long limbs with long tails. They are generally smaller and more slender, too.


Where Can You Find the Pink-Tongued Skink

The pink-tongued lizard’s chosen habitat is coastal or upland regions. They enjoy low vegetation, and their long limbs help them maneuver wet forests, rain forests, and moist woodlands with ease. Indigenous to Australia, these reptiles can be found along eastern Australia – from the Cape York Peninsula, to New South Wales. Residents may even find them in their gardens!

These lizards can be active at night and during the day, though their level of activity usually correlates with the season – cooler months will see these reptiles out during day, while hotter months sees them mostly active during the twilight or early evening hours.


Is The Pink-Tongued Skink Dangerous?

The pink-tongued skink is not venomous and is considered to make a great pet! Tolerant and unaggressive unless provoked, these lizards are equipped with sharp teeth and claws and can bite when they feel frightened.

When threatened, the pink-tongued skink will raise its body off the ground to appear larger, and will flick their pink tongue rapidly, like a snake, to ward off danger.


What Does the Pink-Tongued Skink Eat?

The pink-tongued skink mainly preys on snails and slugs. They have large, flattened teeth at the back of their top and lower jaw, which they use to easily crush the shells of snails.

These lizards can climb and are considered partially arboreal, though they usually only climb trees when searching for food but can also be found crawling around inside your roof.


What to do if you see a Pink-Tongued Skink

These lizards can easily wander in to gardens when searching for food or shelter, so don’t be alarmed to see one basking in the sun on your front lawn!

Although the pink-tongued skink is non-venomous and does not have a history of aggression towards humans, a frightened skink may still lash out and bite or scratch you. Keep children away and give Snake Rescue Sunny Coast a call for safe capture and relocation of any pink-tongued skinks in the area.

Pink-Tongued Skink

Frequently Asked Questions

Pink-tongued Skinks are medium-sized lizards that are native to Australia. They are most well known for their pink-colored tongues. These lizards are popular among reptile enthusiasts due to their unique appearance and docile nature.

Pink-tongued Skinks are relatively large lizards, growing up to 45 cm in length – but are smaller than their blue-tongued relatives, who can grow to lengths of 60cm. They have smooth, shiny skin, which can range from light brown and a pale cream to even gray in color. They also have dark spotted bands across their backs. The tips of their nose and tail tend to be the same dark colour of these bands.

However, the most striking feature of pink-tongued skinks is, of course, their bright pink tongue, which they often display when threatened.

Pink-tongued skinks are very distinctive looking lizards and its easy to tell them apart from their blue-tongued relatives. Some easy ways you can discern a pink-tongued skink from other lizards are:

  • Pale cream, pinkish or light-to-dark brown scales 
  • Blotchy bands across the back
  • Long, elongated body with full-length arms and legs, as well as a long tail
  • Pronounced dark tip on their mouth or nose area
  • Pink tongue!

No, pink-tongued skinks are not considered dangerous to humans, nor are they venomous. They are docile and typically prefer to retreat rather than attack when they feel threatened. However, like all reptiles, pink-tongued skinks have the potential to bite and will use their sharp teeth and claws if they feel the need to defend themselves. 

Their best tool of defense, in addition to their claws and teeth, are their tongues which they will use to ward off threats. A frightened pink-tongued skin will lift its body off the ground to make itself seem larger and flick their tongue, similarly to a snake, in response to danger.

Yes, pink-tongued skinks make popular pets due to their gentle nature and unique appearance. They are easy to care for and make good pets for beginners, as long as their specific needs are met.

Pink-tongued skinks require a spacious enclosure with a warm basking area, a hiding spot, and a substrate that can hold moisture. They also need a varied, well-balanced diet that includes the nutrients they would obtain from their natural prey of slugs and snails in the wild. Before getting a Pink-tongued Skink, make sure to do your research and ensure that you can provide the appropriate care they need.

If you find a pink-tongued skink in your yard, it’s best to leave it alone. These lizards are harmless and, like all animals, play an important role in the ecosystem. If the skink is injured or appears to be in distress, you can contact a local wildlife rescue organisation or a reptile expert for advice. At Snake Rescue Sunny Coast, we are always happy to help and provide advice and can safely and responsibly handle any reptile you may come across.

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