The Pink-tongued skink (Cyclodomorphus gerrardii) is a lizard from the family scincidae. Easily distinguished by their pink tongues (hence the name) and striking colors, this species of skink was relatively unknown but is growing in popularity in the reptile community.
They are known to be quite laid-back, friendly, and are regarded as a good beginner’s reptile, which is more reason why they are gaining popularity as a pet. These relatively large lizards are endemic to parts of Australia. In this section, we’ll take you through a quick overview of this fantastic lizard.
Quick Reference Section
- Scientific Name: Cyclodomorphus gerrardii
- Alternate Names: Cyclodomorphus gerrardii, Pink-tongued skink
- Family: Scincidae
- Size: Around 17 inches
- Diet: A variety of small animals and plants, commonly snails and slugs
- Recommended Books: Skinks Lizards as Pets (Complete Care Guide)
Interesting facts about the Pink-Tongued Skink
Pink-tongued skinks are very fond of snails and slugs. They crush the snail’s shell using flattened teeth located at the rear of their mouths on both the upper and lower jaws.
To defend itself, the pink-tongued skinks raise their body off the ground, which makes it appear deceivingly larger, and flicks their tongues in a similar fashion to that of a predatory snake in an attempt to scare off potential predators.
These spry reptiles move with lateral undulations on smooth surfaces. They hold their hind limbs close to their bodies and move their tails in a side-winding motion when moving about through the grass and when climbing up branches, simply using only their forelimbs.
Pink-tongued skinks are very adept at climbing. They use their semi-prehensile tails to support and aid them when they scramble up trees. These skinks are semi-arboreal and climb trees usually when feeding.
Courtship and mating season happens early spring in spring for a period of six weeks. During this time, males will fight. During the process of mating, the male skink clutches the female skink’s head using his jaws and mounts the female skink.
What does the Pink-Tongued Skink look like?
The Pink-tongued skink grows relatively large, reaching a length of about 17 inches (measurement includes their tails).
They possess a slender body with a long, slightly prehensile tail almost as long as their own body. They have well-developed limbs with long digits and sharp claws. Their necks are well pronounced, and their heads are relatively large. Males possess wider heads.
Pink-tongued skinks are decorated with attractive patterns consisting of a slate-grey to fawn dorsal ground color, and dark grey to brown or black cross bands. They have easily about 20 cross bands from their necks to the tip of their tails, which run backwards and laterally.
These skink’s scales are smooth and are edged with a dark color on their heads. Their limbs are often streaked or spotted darkly.
Where can the Pink-Tongued Skink be found?
Endemic to the Land Down Under, the Pink-tongued skink is native to NSW (Springwood), along the eastern country coast, Cairns, and in Queensland; situated in both coastal and upland habitats.
What kind of habitat do Pink-Tongued Skinks live in?
These skinks come from a harsh environment and are hardy critters. They live in subtropical forests. They live with elevated humidity levels. Like most reptiles, they are dependent on thermoregulation to regulate their body’s temperature.
They are at home both on the ground as well as in low vegetation. They often frequent wet sclerophyll forests, rainforests, and moist woodland areas. They frequently shelter in hollow logs and beneath leaf litter, and in rock crevices and trees.
Their slender bodies and limbs are highly adapted for moving around in the quite thick undergrowth found in their habitats.
What does the Pink-Tongued Skink eat?
The Pink-tongued skink is a semi-omnivore. Their diet consists of a lot of proteins, smaller critters, some fruits & flowers, and a little bit of greens.
The main diet also consists of snails and slugs, which they really love. They forage during twilight hours and at night in the summertime, and also during the day in the much cooler tempered months.
How long does the Pink-Tongued Skink live?
In the wild, they are known to live for around 10-15 years. Some captive-bred species have even been known to live up to 20 or so years.
How many eggs does the Pink-Tongued Skink lay?
Female pink-tongued skinks gestate for an estimated period of 101 to 110 days. Then, the females produce large litters of up to 20 to 30 live young in early summer.
What predators does the Pink-Tongued Skink have?
Living in their areas, they can be faced with many carnivorous predators. The Pink-tongued skinks are not venomous but will defend themselves with a bite. Though they have blunt teeth, a bite from a Pink-tongued skink will still hurt because they have very powerful jaws.
Is it legal to have a Pink-Tongued Skink as a pet?
Pink-tongued Skinks are not easily available partly due to the widespread popularity of the Blue-tongued skink. They have gone unnoticed, but recently they have been gaining notoriety and are growing more popular in the reptile community because of their distinguishing features, and due to the fact that they are fairly easy to care for.
Most Pink-tongued skinks in the trade are captive-bred. These breeders are in high demand since there are not too many captive breeders. As mentioned they can be acquired from certain breeders, online reptile websites, reptile expos, and some reptile stores.
The Pink Tongued Skink Overview
Skink Care Book
If you want to know more about this animal and it’s care, this book has everything you need to know about the Pink-tongued Skink as well as other skinks.
Pink-tongued skinks are amazing, beautiful, and friendly reptiles. They are known to be quite laid back, having a good temperament, and are incredibly smart lizards. They make for a good choice for a pet lizard, not only for experienced reptile owners, they make a good pet even for a rookie reptile owner.
This friendly medium-sized skink tolerates handling and it does not take long to get used to being handled, they learn quite quickly that you are not there to hurt them and will readily accept food from your hands. So overall these awesome, pretty reptiles are fun and friendly skinks, easy to care for and very unique in its own right.