Common Bluetongue Skink

Tiliqua scincoides

There are two subspecies of Tiliqua: scincoides scincoides (eastern bluetongue), and scincoides intermedia (northern bluetongue). They live throughout continental Australia. Though they are very stout lizards with tiny legs, they are capable of moving quite quickly when frightened. Also, when frightened they open their mouth wide, protrude their blue tongue, hiss, and increase their height by arching their bodies and leaning to one side to face the aggressor. Because their legs are short, they are unable to dig their own burrows; so they rely on burrows of other animals, or seek shelter in hollow logs, in ground debris (leaf litter) and in rock crevices. They give birth to live lizards instead of laying eggs, and their embryos have placental matter, similar to that of mammals.

The above picture was taken in Cincinnati zoo, in July 2002.

Family Scincidae
Infraorder Scincomorpha
Suborder Sauria
Order Squamata
Class Reptilia
Subphylum Vertebrata
Phylum Chordata
Kingdom Animalia
Life on Earth