There are six species of blue tongue lizards (Tiliqua sp.) in Australia. They live in a wide variety of habitats ranging from desert, to tropical and subtropical forests and mountainous areas. These large members of the skink family are hardy, adaptable and non-aggressive. They have long bodies, large heads, blue tongues, short legs and short tapering tails. Although females are slightly bigger than males, the males generally have bigger heads! Blue tongue lizards are great urban survivors. They can often be seen in gardens basking in the sun or foraging for food. They catch slow-moving prey such as snails, slugs and caterpillars, and have strong jaw muscles which enable them to crush the snail shells. Although these lizards were very popular as pets in the 60s, they are probably better off in the wild. Blue tongue lizards in the garden
- Don't use snail baits or insecticides if blue tongues are living in your garden. If a blue tongue eats snails and slugs that have been poisoned by baits, the blue tongue will also be poisoned.
- Keep cats and dogs under control. Young blue tongues especially are often killed or injured by domestic pets.
- Blue tongues love basking in warm, sunny spots in the garden. Keep an eye out for them when mowing long grass, and when entering or exiting your driveway.
- At first glance you might mistake a blue tongue for a snake, but take another look and you'll notice the legs. If you see either a blue tongue lizard or a snake, it's best to leave it alone.