Blue-tongued skinks are member of the genus Tiliqua. These animals are found in Australia and neighboring areas in the Pacific.
There are a number of species in the pet trade, each of which may have a different price and individual needs.
Make sure you know exactly what species you have and how to care for it. Most species in the pet trade make great pets even if you don’t have much experience.
Since they are larger, they are less fragile than other beginner lizards. You just need more space than you will for something like a crested gecko. If you are getting ready to buy one, you may be wondering what it costs to buy a blue-tongued skink.
A juvenile northern blue-tongued skink will be around $400 if it doesn’t have any special morphs. They can be over $1,000 for special morphs.
For a complete guide to enclosure setup, feeding, daily care and breeding,
check out my Blue Tongue Skink Care Guide
Northern Blue-Tongued Skinks
Northern blue-tongued skinks (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia) are a subspecies of the common blue-tongued skink native to northern Australia.
A normal morph juvenile will be $300-400 on average.
However, this subspecies has a number of morphs that can raise the price. Many morphs will go for $500-1,000 depending on the number of genes an animal shows and its age.
Proven adults can be $700-1,000 on their own and breeding pairs are around $1,500 depending on the morphs the animals may carry.
Eastern Blue-Tongued Skinks
Eastern blue-tongued skinks (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides) are found in eastern and southern Australia.
They are a bit less common in the pet trade but can be found. A typical animal will $700. Some particular localities such as Victorian animals will be over $1,200 even for a juvenile.
There aren’t as many morphs for this subspecies, but they are between $1,000 and $10,000.
Indonesian Blue-Tongued Skinks
There are two common versions of this particular subspecies. The classic Indonesian and the Halmahera. Both are the subspecies Tiliqua gigas gigas but they have a different appearance.
The classic is greenish or yellowish with speckles between the bands and solid black limbs. The Halmahera has a reddish or gray background thin black markings on the head.
Classic Indonesian blue-tongued skinks are $100-250. Halmahera blue-tongued skinks are $100-200 on average. You can find morphs going for around $500-650.
Be careful with these subspecies since they are frequently wild-caught or farm-bred.
Irian Jaya blue-tongued skinks are a bit of a grab bag of Tiliqua species. They are not fully understood taxonomically but are very common in the pet trade.
They can be found around $300-400 for a captive-bred animal. Animals with unique morphs or colors will be $400-500.
Kei Island blue-tongued skinks (Tiliqua gigas keyensis) have a unique freckled appearance. They are typically around $300 for a single animal. Pairs can be bought for $500-1,000 depending on if they have been sexed yet.
Merauke blue-tongued skinks (Tiliqua gigas evanescens) are known for their long bodies and calm temperament. They are around $300 for a juvenile. Adults or morphs will go for over $500 on average.
Tanimbar blue-tongued skinks (Tiliqua scincoides chimaera) are known for their hard and glossy scales. They are around $400 for a captive-bred animal.
It can be hard to find captive-bred animals, but it is worth it since captive-bred animals tend to have better personalities.
Other Blue-Tongued Skinks
Most other species you may find are Australian species that are nearly impossible to get outside of the country.
If you can find them, expect to pay a pretty penny if it was a legally acquired animal. It is hard to price these animals since they tend to be sold privately to breeders looking to establish a breeding line.
It will likely be over $1,000 but could be over $10,000. There are some other species that are wild-caught, but some of them might be hard to keep since wild-caught skinks frequently suffer from parasites.
Costs to Own
Besides the cost of the animal, you also need to consider factors like the cost of housing the animal and supplies. First, these animals require a minimum of 8 square feet of floor space.
This makes a 48″x24″x18″ enclosure the absolute minimum.
Repti Zoo 48x24x24″ Glass Terrarium
- Comfortable size
- Front opening doors: easier to access and less stressful for your snake
- Waterproof bottom and inlets for heating and thermostat wires
- Easy to setup & Knock down for transportation
Blue-tongued skinks are very active and curious animals that need much more space. You should go bigger if you have the space.
If you buy it pre-made, it will be at least $400 not counting shipping. $600 and up is much more typical for this size of enclosure.
You can also build your own, but you need to be careful with your material choice to make sure it is safe for your skink.
The heating and lighting all together will be around $100-150 for all the bulbs and fixtures. You will need to pay around $30-40 a year to replace the UVB bulb.
You will need to maintain the right humidity and monitor it.
A good digital thermometer and hygrometer are around $30. You should also have a temperature gun for around $30. You will need a mister for around $10-15 if you do not have one.
Substrates and cage decorations will run you around $50 or so.
Some decorations can be reused, but substrates need to be replaced monthly for around $20 every month or two. Food is pretty varied. Y
ou need to feed a mix of plant and animal matter to keep them healthy. This means you can feed them safe vegetables and fruit bought from your local store along with proteins like ground meat and cooked eggs.
They can also eat a range of insects. They can also eat high-quality wet dog food for adults and cat food for juveniles, but be cautious and you will need to add more vegetables at the least.
Food costs will be varied, but will likely be under $30 for a month. This does depend on the age of the animal and the prices in your area.
The multivitamins and calcium they need are around $30 for tubs that will last for months or years depending on how many animals you have.
Fluker’s Calcium Reptile Supplement with added Vitamin D3
- Calcium supplement for lizards, snakes, turtles and frogs. Vitamin D3 added for reptiles kept indoors
- Promotes healthy bones and vital bodily functions
- Made right in the U.S.A.
- Proper balance of essential nutrients
- Feed to your reptile at any stage of their life
Be sure to include vet care. A standard visit is $40-70 depending on the practice, but emergency care and testing can be pricey. You may want to opt for pet insurance which tends to be $10-20 a month depending on the company.
Blue-tongued skinks are large animals so their care tends to be a bit more expensive than a smaller lizard. You can expect to pay a lot upfront to get your pet set up.
Things like decor are easier to save on, but food and supplements tend to stay around the same price if you want the best quality to keep your pet healthy. If you have any questions, please leave them below.