Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Blotched blue-tongue Lizard

.....Tiliqua nigrolutea

On Sunday my wife came across a Blotched Bluetongue Lizard on the road so she brought it back home where we released it in the bush up behind our house. Of course I first took the opportunity to get some photos.

The Blotched blue-tongue is found in the south-east of Australia and Tasmania. On the mainland it is usually found at higher elevations but here in Tassie it is found from sea level up to around 750m. They are omnivorous, feeding on insects, snails, flowers, and fruit. In a backyard situation they will be attracted by pet food and your strawberry patch.

These are the largest lizards in Tasmania. Head to vent they grow to around 30cm or up to about 45cm including the tail. This one was 42cm. I had one in the yard last year which I reckon would have been at least half a metre. I didn't realise at the time that it was above average so I wish I had measured it more accurately.

You may see from the photos that this one has an injured rear right foot, perhaps from a previous close shave with the traffic. At least if this one appears on my block again in future I'll be able to recognise it.

(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

#1 - Tiliqua nigrolutea - Blotched blue-tongue

#2 - Tiliqua nigrolutea - Blotched blue-tongue

#3 - Tiliqua nigrolutea - Blotched blue-tongue

#4 - Tiliqua nigrolutea - Blotched blue-tongue

#5 - Tiliqua nigrolutea - Blotched blue-tongue - Note the scaly eye lids

#6 - Tiliqua nigrolutea - Blotched blue-tongue - Head Scales

#7 - Tiliqua nigrolutea - Blotched blue-tongue - Previous injury


  1. Hi Alan,

    What's a beautiful lizard you have found. I love the colour of its tongue. Is it dangerous? Certainly not endangered I guess.

    I was just thinking whether the foot injury could be due to fighting with another lizard?

  2. What stunning little beast mosura, lovely photo's.

  3. A very interesting post. I especially like the great photos of the head and blue tongue.

  4. Wonderful photos and what a stunning lizard! Hope he sticks around for you, if he does you could call him Boris the blue-tongued lizard!

  5. That's one big bluetongue Mosura, plump too, wonder if its full of eggs.

  6. Thanks Chai - Not dangerous at all although it migh give you a nasty nip. Generally they are quite placid when you pick them up. Some will stick their tongue out and his a little.

    As for the injury I guess anything, not just a lizard, could have had a go at it.

    Thanks Warren - Indeed they are - The lizrads that is not the photos :-)

    Thanks Mick - I won't tell you how many shots I took trying to get one of the tongue fully extended :-)

    Thanks Jenny - Wasn't Boris a spider. (The Who)

  7. Nothing much to add. I just thought the tongue looks like blue plasticine. :)

  8. And no ticks or mites. For some reason (probably size) blue-tongues get covered in them, especially under the armpits. That's got to be uncomfortable.

  9. Thanaks Chai - Yes it does a bit eh :-)

    Thanks Snail - The fleas are bad enough, I would want ticks in my armpits as well :-)

    I've only seen three Bluetongues since moving here but haven't noticed any tick on them. I'll check their oxters next time.