Blue Tongue Skink Vs Ackie Monitor

Are you curious about the differences between a Blue Tongue Skink and an Ackie Monitor? Look no further, as we compare these two fascinating reptiles. Both the Blue Tongue Skink and the Ackie Monitor are popular choices for reptile enthusiasts, but they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. From their appearances to their behaviors, we will break down the unique traits of each species, helping you make an informed decision if you’re considering adding one of these reptiles to your collection. Prepare to be captivated by the fascinating world of these reptilian beauties!

Blue Tongue Skink Vs Ackie Monitor



Blue tongue skinks are generally larger than Ackie monitors. On average, blue tongue skinks can reach a size of 18-24 inches in length, with some individuals growing even larger. Ackie monitors, on the other hand, are smaller and usually reach a size of around 24-36 inches in length. So if you’re looking for a larger reptile, the blue tongue skink would be the better choice.


Both blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors display vibrant and beautiful coloration. Blue tongue skinks typically have a combination of brown and black scales with patches of blue on their tongues, hence their name. Their bodies may also have bands or stripes running along their backs. Ackie monitors, on the other hand, have a stunning combination of red, orange, and yellow scales. These colors can vary depending on the individual and can become more vibrant when they are exposed to natural sunlight. Both species have unique and eye-catching patterns that make them stand out.

Physical Features

Blue tongue skinks have a robust and sturdy build. They have relatively short legs, a broad triangular-shaped head, and a thick tail. One of their most distinctive physical features is their large blue tongue, which they often stick out as a defense mechanism. Ackie monitors, on the other hand, have a more elongated body and slender limbs, which make them excellent climbers. Their tail is longer and more slender compared to that of the blue tongue skink. Ackie monitors also have a wedge-shaped head, which allows them to dig efficiently. Both species have sharp claws and powerful jaws, which they use for various purposes such as digging, climbing, and capturing prey.


Native Range

Blue tongue skinks are native to Australia, where they can be found in various regions, including the arid and semi-arid areas. Ackie monitors, on the other hand, are native to the arid regions of Australia, particularly in the northern and western parts. Both species are well-adapted to these dry and hot environments and have developed specific characteristics to survive in such conditions.

Preferred Environment

In captivity, both blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors require a well-maintained and spacious terrarium that mimics their natural habitat as closely as possible. Blue tongue skinks thrive in temperatures ranging from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, with a slight drop in temperature during the night. They also require a temperature gradient within their enclosure, with a basking spot that reaches up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity level should be kept around 40-60%. Ackie monitors prefer slightly higher temperatures, ranging from 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, with a basking spot that can reach up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. They also require a humidity level of around 40-60%. Providing adequate UVB lighting is crucial for both species to maintain their overall health and well-being.

Terrarium Setup

Both blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors benefit from having a spacious terrarium with plenty of hiding spots and climbing opportunities. It’s essential to create a naturalistic and enriching environment for them to explore and feel secure. Include various types of substrates such as reptile carpet, cypress mulch, or a mixture of soil and sand. Adding rocks, logs, and branches will provide them with climbing opportunities and places to bask. In terms of vegetation, both species enjoy having live plants such as snake plants, pothos, or bromeliads, which not only create a visually appealing terrarium but also help maintain humidity levels. Additionally, providing a water dish large enough for them to soak in is crucial. Both species enjoy soaking in water to hydrate and regulate their body temperature.


Natural Diet

Blue tongue skinks are omnivorous, and their diet consists of a wide range of plant matter and animal protein. They feed on fruits, vegetables, flowers, and leafy greens such as dandelion greens, collard greens, and kale. They also consume insects, snails, slugs, and even small vertebrates like mice. Ackie monitors, on the other hand, are primarily insectivorous. Their natural diet consists mainly of insects, including crickets, roaches, mealworms, and waxworms. However, they also occasionally eat small vertebrates like rodents and birds.

Captive Diet

In captivity, both blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors require a balanced and varied diet to ensure they receive all the essential nutrients. For blue tongue skinks, their diet should consist of approximately 50% plant matter and 50% animal protein. Vegetables such as collard greens, mustard greens, and squash can be offered, along with fruits like berries and melons. Animal protein can be provided in the form of gut-loaded insects, such as crickets and roaches, as well as occasional cooked egg or lean meat. Ackie monitors should primarily be fed a diet of insects, with an emphasis on variety. Offering a mix of different insects, including crickets, dubia roaches, and mealworms, will help provide the necessary nutritional diversity. It’s important to dust the insects with a reptile calcium supplement and a multivitamin powder before feeding them to ensure the reptiles receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals.

Feeding Requirements

Both blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors should be fed appropriately sized prey items. For blue tongue skinks, the size of the prey should be no wider than the space between their eyes to prevent any choking hazards. Baby blue tongue skinks can be fed more frequently, while adults require feeding every two to three days. Ackie monitors should be offered appropriately sized insects, which can be slightly larger than the size of the width between their eyes. They should be fed every day when they are young and gradually transition to feeding every other day or every few days as they grow. It’s important to monitor their weight and adjust their feeding schedule accordingly to prevent obesity or malnutrition.


Activity Levels

Blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors are both diurnal, which means they are active during the day. However, their activity levels may vary slightly. Blue tongue skinks are generally more relaxed and slower-paced compared to Ackie monitors. They often enjoy basking for extended periods and exploring their environment at a leisurely pace. Ackie monitors, on the other hand, are agile and energetic. They are constantly on the move, exploring their surroundings and engaging in various activities such as digging, climbing, and hunting.

Territorial Nature

Both blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors can exhibit territorial behavior, especially between individuals of the same species. It’s crucial to provide them with enough space in their enclosure to establish their territories and reduce the likelihood of aggressive encounters. Ackie monitors, in particular, are known to be more territorial and may display aggressive behaviors if they feel threatened or if another Ackie monitor invades their territory. Careful monitoring and proper habitat setup can help prevent any territorial conflicts.

Social Behavior

While both blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors can live together in pairs or small groups, they are generally solitary animals. Blue tongue skinks can be kept together as long as they have ample space and resources, but it’s important to note that they can still display territorial behavior towards one another. Ackie monitors, on the other hand, are more solitary and prefer to have their own territory. It’s crucial to provide adequate space and hiding spots if housing multiple individuals to prevent aggression and stress.

Blue Tongue Skink Vs Ackie Monitor

Handling and Temperament

Taming and Bonding

Both blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors can be tamed and become accustomed to human interaction with patience and proper handling techniques. It’s important to start handling them from a young age to establish trust and a positive association with human interaction. Consistent and gentle handling will help them become more comfortable and allow for a stronger bond to develop over time. Offering food rewards during handling sessions can also help build a positive association with human presence.


While both species can display aggressive behavior, especially when feeling threatened or during territorial disputes, it’s important to note that their temperaments can vary among individuals. Blue tongue skinks are generally known for their docile and calm nature. However, they may exhibit defensive behavior, such as hissing, puffing up, or even biting if they feel threatened. Ackie monitors, on the other hand, are generally more skittish and can be quick to bite if they feel cornered or threatened. Handling should always be done with caution and respect for the reptiles’ boundaries to prevent any potential aggression or stress.

Interaction with Humans

Both blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors can form a bond with their human caretakers if provided with regular interaction and positive reinforcement. Daily handling or short interaction sessions will help them become more comfortable and at ease in the presence of humans. However, it’s important to remember that reptiles have different needs and preferences compared to mammals, and their interaction style may not be as overtly affectionate. Building a mutual trust and respect is key to a positive relationship with these reptiles.


Breeding Season

The breeding season for blue tongue skinks typically occurs during the spring and summer months when temperatures are warmer. Male blue tongue skinks may become more active and display courtship behaviors, such as head-bobbing and chasing the female. Ackie monitors, on the other hand, do not have a specific breeding season and can breed throughout the year, given the appropriate conditions and a compatible pair.

Mating Behavior

During the mating season, male blue tongue skinks may actively pursue the female and engage in a courtship ritual. This ritual often involves head-bobbing, tongue-flicking, and tail wagging as a display of dominance and courtship. The female may respond by reciprocating these behaviors, indicating her willingness to mate. In contrast, Ackie monitors do not typically exhibit elaborate courtship displays. The male will pursue the female, and if she is receptive, copulation will occur.

Egg Laying and Incubation

Both blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors are ovoviviparous, which means they give birth to live young. After mating, the female will develop and internally incubate her eggs until they are ready to be born. Blue tongue skinks generally give birth to 5-20 live young, while Ackie monitors usually have smaller litters of 3-7 live young. After birth, the young reptiles are independent and do not require parental care. If breeding blue tongue skinks or Ackie monitors, it’s essential to provide appropriate nesting sites or boxes within their enclosure to simulate their natural reproductive behaviors.

Blue Tongue Skink Vs Ackie Monitor

Health Considerations

Common Health Issues

Both blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors are generally hardy reptiles when provided with proper care. However, there are some common health issues that owners should be aware of. Respiratory infections, metabolic bone disease, and nutritional deficiencies can occur if husbandry conditions are suboptimal. Additionally, parasites such as mites or internal worms can also affect the health of these reptiles. Regular observation, proper hygiene, and regular veterinary check-ups are essential to maintaining their overall health and detecting any potential issues early.

Preventative Measures

Preventing health issues in blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors starts with providing a suitable enclosure that meets their temperature, humidity, and lighting requirements. Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment is also crucial to prevent the buildup of bacteria or fungi. Providing a varied and balanced diet, along with appropriate supplementation, will help prevent nutritional deficiencies. Regular observation of the reptiles’ behavior, appetite, and shedding patterns can also help identify any potential health concerns.

Veterinary Care

If you notice any signs of illness or if your blue tongue skink or Ackie monitor experiences an injury, it’s important to seek veterinary care from a qualified reptile veterinarian. Reptiles have unique medical needs and require specialized care. Regular check-ups and parasite screenings can also help ensure their long-term health and well-being. Building a relationship with a knowledgeable reptile veterinarian will provide valuable guidance and support for the care of your blue tongue skink or Ackie monitor.


Blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors have relatively long lifespans when provided with proper care. Blue tongue skinks can live for 15-20 years or even longer in captivity, while Ackie monitors may live for 10-15 years on average. Proper husbandry, a balanced diet, and regular veterinary care are essential for maximizing their lifespan.

Blue Tongue Skink Vs Ackie Monitor

Legal Considerations

Before acquiring a blue tongue skink or Ackie monitor, it’s important to research and understand the legal considerations associated with owning these reptiles. Depending on your location, there may be specific regulations or restrictions on keeping reptiles. It’s crucial to obtain reptiles from reputable sources and ensure they are captive-bred and legally acquired. Familiarizing yourself with local laws and regulations will help ensure that you provide the best possible care for your blue tongue skink or Ackie monitor while staying in compliance with the law.

Comparison Table

Here is a comparison table summarizing the key differences between blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors:

Category Blue Tongue Skink Ackie Monitor
Size 18-24 inches 24-36 inches
Coloration Brown and black scales with patches of blue on tongue Red, orange, and yellow scales
Physical Features Robust build, short legs, triangular-shaped head, thick tail Elongated body, slender limbs, wedge-shaped head, long and slender tail
Native Range Australia Australia
Preferred Environment Temperatures (Day: 75-85°F, Night: slight drop), humidity (40-60%) Temperatures (Day: 85-95°F, Basking: up to 105°F), humidity (40-60%)
Diet Omnivorous (50% plant matter, 50% animal protein) Insectivorous (mainly insects, occasional small vertebrates)
Activity Levels Relaxed, slower-paced Agile, energetic
Territorial Nature Can display territorial behavior Can display territorial behavior, especially among males
Handling and Temperament Docile and calm, may exhibit defensive behavior Skittish, may bite if threatened or cornered
Breeding Season Spring and summer Breeding can occur year-round

In conclusion, both blue tongue skinks and Ackie monitors are fascinating reptiles with unique characteristics and requirements. Understanding their differences in size, coloration, physical features, habitat, diet, behavior, and health considerations is crucial for providing them with the right care and ensuring their well-being. Whether you choose a blue tongue skink or an Ackie monitor, both species make captivating and rewarding reptile pets for dedicated reptile enthusiasts.

Blue Tongue Skink Vs Ackie Monitor