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How To Best Care For Your Blue Tongue Lizard

BIOLOGY AND BEHAVIOUR Blue tongues are often found in park areas and are very common. They are non -aggressive mid sized skinks that grow to about 30cm as adults.

HOUSING, TEMPERATURE AND LIGHTING Blue tongues are a completely ground dwelling species. Adults should be housed in a terrarium at least 90cm long. Cage decorations should include suitable hiding places. The terrarium should be kept at around 27 degrees with a cool end of 24 degrees. Temperatures can be maintained with basking bulbs, infrared heat bulbs, and ceramic emitters or under tank heaters and panels. As with most diurnal species, full spectrum light is required. For instance, a 5.0 reptile UV globe should be provided for about 8 hours per day as this helps with the absorption of calcium and the formation of bone structure. Wood shavings (avoid cedar or pine as these may cause long term health issues), lizard litter, newspaper or indoor/outdoor carpeting can all be used as substrates. The enclosure should be spot cleaned daily. A thorough cleaning should be performed on a regular basis. A 5% bleach solution is an excellent disinfectant. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the enclosure before replacing the substrate and placing the lizard back in the enclosure. Substrate Bark, commercially cleaned sand, synthetic grass, newspaper or butchers paper are all good clean substrates. WATER Ensure water bowls are cleaned regularly and fresh water is available constantly. FEEDING All blue tongues lizard are omnivorous (eating both plant and animal matter). Blue tongues should be fed on a variety of fruits and vegetables sweet fruits and soft vegetables are the most accepted, no citrus fruits should be fed to them. Also slow moving insects should be given things like snails are a favourite of the blue tongue. They should be fed every 2 or 3 days and fresh water provided daily. HANDLING Blue tongues are easy to handle and adjust very quickly to being handled. Over handling though may be stressful. Support the whole body of the lizard from underneath. Particularly the fore & hind limbs. Avoid squeezing the lizard. AILMENTS AND DISORDERS Reptile ticks are commonly found on blue-tongues; they attach under the scales and in the ear canal. These need to be removed periodically by using tweezers.

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