Blue Tongue Skink In Philippines

Imagine taking a journey through the lush landscapes of the Philippines, where vibrant colors and exotic wildlife await at every turn. Amongst this array of fascinating creatures, one stands out with its unique feature – the Blue Tongue Skink. Found in the beautiful Philippines, this fascinating reptile boasts a stunning blue tongue that captures the imagination of all who encounter it. In this article, we will explore the enchanting world of the Blue Tongue Skink and discover why it has become a beloved resident of the Philippine wildlife.

About Blue Tongue Skink in Philippines

The Blue Tongue Skink is a fascinating reptile that can be found in the Philippines. Known for its distinctive blue tongue, this species belongs to the family Scincidae and the genus Tiliqua. Blue Tongue Skinks are medium-sized lizards with robust bodies and short legs. They typically reach a length of 15 to 24 inches, making them a popular choice for reptile enthusiasts.

Physical Characteristics

Blue Tongue Skinks have a unique appearance that sets them apart from other reptiles. Apart from their blue tongues, they have smooth and shiny scales that give their skin a sleek and glossy appearance. Their bodies are typically gray or brown, with darker-colored bands or blotches running across their backs. Some individuals may also have reddish or orange hues on their bellies. One distinguishing feature of Blue Tongue Skinks is their short, stubby tails.

Habitat and Distribution

Blue Tongue Skinks are native to the Philippines and can be found in various regions of the country, including Luzon, Mindanao, and the Visayas. They are primarily terrestrial and inhabit a range of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and agricultural areas. These skinks are adaptable and can thrive in both rural and urban environments.

Diet and Feeding Habits

Blue Tongue Skinks are omnivorous, meaning they will eat a variety of different foods. In the wild, their diet consists of small insects, snails, slugs, fruits, vegetables, and even carrion. As pets, they can be fed a diet of commercially available reptile food, supplemented with fresh vegetables and fruits. It is important to ensure a balanced diet for Blue Tongue Skinks to maintain their overall health and well-being.

Behavior and Temperament

Blue Tongue Skinks are known for their docile and friendly nature. They are generally calm and will tolerate handling, making them a favorite among reptile enthusiasts. However, they may display defensive behaviors if they feel threatened, such as puffing up their bodies, hissing, or even biting. It is important to handle Blue Tongue Skinks with care and respect their boundaries.

Breeding and Reproduction

Blue Tongue Skinks reach sexual maturity at around two to three years of age. Breeding usually occurs during the spring or summer months, following a period of brumation, which is similar to hibernation. Female skinks lay eggs, typically producing a clutch of 8 to 15 eggs. The incubation period lasts around 70 to 110 days, after which the baby skinks hatch. It is essential to provide appropriate nesting and temperature conditions for successful breeding and hatching.

Blue Tongue Skink In Philippines

The Blue Tongue Skink Trade in the Philippines

Illegal Trade and Poaching

Unfortunately, the Blue Tongue Skink trade in the Philippines faces numerous challenges, including illegal trade and poaching. These skinks are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts due to their unique appearance and gentle temperament. This demand has led to an increase in illegal collection and poaching of wild Blue Tongue Skinks, putting their populations at risk.

Export Regulations and Permits

To combat the illegal trade of Blue Tongue Skinks, the Philippine government has implemented regulations and requirements for their export. These regulations ensure that proper permits and documentation are obtained before any Blue Tongue Skinks can be exported. This helps to regulate and monitor the trade, safeguarding the populations in the wild.

Conservation Efforts

Recognizing the need for conservation, several organizations and initiatives have been established in the Philippines to protect Blue Tongue Skinks and their habitats. These efforts focus on raising awareness, conducting research, and implementing conservation strategies to ensure the long-term survival of this species. By collaborating with local communities, governments, and conservation organizations, these initiatives aim to protect Blue Tongue Skinks for future generations.

Ecotourism Potential

Blue Tongue Skinks have the potential to contribute to ecotourism in the Philippines. With their unique coloration and friendly temperament, they could attract tourists interested in observing and learning about these fascinating reptiles. By promoting responsible ecotourism practices, the Philippines can harness the economic benefits of Blue Tongue Skink tourism while promoting conservation and sustainable practices.

Blue Tongue Skink In Philippines

Blue Tongue Skink Conservation in the Philippines

Threats to Blue Tongue Skink Population

While efforts are being made to conserve Blue Tongue Skinks in the Philippines, they still face several threats to their population. Habitat loss due to deforestation and urbanization is a significant concern. Additionally, the illegal collection and trade of Blue Tongue Skinks continue to pose a threat to their numbers in the wild. Climate change and pollution also have the potential to impact their habitats and overall well-being.

Conservation Initiatives

Conservation initiatives in the Philippines focus on mitigating the threats faced by Blue Tongue Skinks. These initiatives involve habitat restoration, captive breeding programs, and research studies to understand their biology and ecology better. By monitoring populations, implementing sustainable practices, and raising awareness, these initiatives aim to protect and conserve Blue Tongue Skinks for future generations.

Role of Local Communities

Local communities play a crucial role in the conservation of Blue Tongue Skinks. By involving communities in conservation efforts, stakeholders can promote sustainable practices and provide alternative livelihood opportunities that reduce dependence on the illegal trade of these skinks. Educating communities about the importance of these reptiles and their habitats fosters a sense of ownership and pride, leading to increased protection efforts.

Blue Tongue Skink In Philippines

Tips for Keeping Blue Tongue Skinks as Pets

Housing and Enclosure

When keeping Blue Tongue Skinks as pets, it is important to provide them with a suitable enclosure. A spacious terrarium or reptile enclosure with secure lids is necessary to prevent escape. Blue Tongue Skinks are relatively active, so the enclosure should be large enough for them to move around comfortably. Provide hiding spots, branches, and other enrichment items to create a stimulating environment.

Temperature and Humidity Requirements

Blue Tongue Skinks require specific temperature and humidity levels to thrive. The enclosure should have a temperature gradient, with a warm basking spot ranging from 90 to 100°F (32 to 38°C) and a cooler side ranging from 75 to 85°F (24 to 29°C). Maintaining a humidity level between 40% and 60% is important for their overall health. Regular monitoring of these parameters is essential to ensure their well-being.

Feeding and Nutrition

Blue Tongue Skinks have unique dietary requirements. A balanced diet for these omnivorous reptiles includes a combination of high-quality commercial reptile food, insects, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Foods should be appropriately sized to avoid any choking hazards. It is crucial to provide a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement to prevent nutritional deficiencies and promote healthy bone growth.

Handling and Socialization

Blue Tongue Skinks are generally docile and can be handled with proper care. It is important to approach them calmly and support their body while handling to prevent any stress or injury. Regular handling helps to socialize them and build trust. However, it is essential to respect their boundaries and avoid excessive handling to minimize any potential stress.

Common Health Issues

As with any pet, Blue Tongue Skinks may experience health issues. Some common health issues include respiratory infections, metabolic bone disease, and skin infections. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and proper husbandry practices can help prevent these health issues. Any signs of illness or abnormalities should be promptly addressed by a reptile veterinarian.

Blue Tongue Skink In Philippines

Blue Tongue Skink Awareness and Education

Educational Programs and Workshops

Awareness and education play a vital role in the conservation of Blue Tongue Skinks. Educational programs and workshops can be conducted to raise awareness about the importance of these reptiles and their conservation needs. These programs can target schools, communities, and even pet owners to promote responsible pet ownership and conservation practices.

Public Awareness Campaigns

Public awareness campaigns can be an effective way to reach a broader audience and engage the general public in conservation efforts. Through media platforms, such as social media, television, and radio, educational campaigns can convey important messages about the value of Blue Tongue Skinks in ecosystems and the need to protect their habitats. Campaigns can also emphasize the importance of sustainable and legal trade practices.

Research and Documentation

To enhance understanding and conservation efforts, research and documentation are essential. Conducting studies on the population dynamics, habitat requirements, and behavior of Blue Tongue Skinks provides valuable insights for conservation strategies. This research can help inform management practices and ensure the long-term survival of this species.

Blue Tongue Skink In Philippines


Blue Tongue Skinks are unique reptiles that have captivated the hearts of many in the Philippines. Unfortunately, they face numerous challenges, including illegal trade, habitat loss, and climate change. However, through conservation initiatives, public awareness campaigns, and responsible pet ownership, these challenges can be overcome. The Philippines has the opportunity to not only protect and conserve Blue Tongue Skinks but also promote their cultural and ecological value. By working together, we can ensure a future where Blue Tongue Skinks thrive in the wild and bring joy to reptile enthusiasts for generations to come.