Best Pet Skinks

Skinks are sleek, smooth and generally docile lizards. Most will attain a very reasonable size and have straightforward care requirements. We’re very fond of skinks in general and think they make tremendously rewarding and entertaining reptile companions.

Backwater Reptiles list: the best pet skinks

Blue Tongue Skink (Tiliqua sp.)

Probably the most popular pet skink we sell at Backwater Reptiles would be the Blue Tongue. “Blueys,” as they are affectionately known amongst herp hobbyists, are also the largest skink species (aside from the much harder to come by Solomon Island Skink) sold by Backwater Reptiles.

The best pet skinks
This bluey is showing off his blue tongue that got him his name. Blueys are one of the best pet skinks in the world.

We recommend purchasing your bluey as a hatchling because you can watch it grow up and train it to recognize you. The more you interact with your bluey, the more docile and tame it will become. Many will sit on the couch with their owner or even hang out on their owner’s shoulders like a parrot.

Of all the skink species sold by Backwater Reptiles, we’d say that blueys are probably the hardiest and most interactive. As we already mentioned, you can train them to enjoy being handled and petted, which is great if you want a lizard that you can “play” with, so to speak.

Blueys are omnivores and will need a varied diet ranging from canned or cooked meat to fresh, leafy greens and veggies.

If you want a pet blue tongue skink of your own, Backwater Reptiles has healthy babies and adults available.

Red Eye Crocodile Skink (Tribolonotus gracilis)

Many people are attracted to red eye croc skinks because they are reminiscent of tiny little dragons. They have heavily keeled scales, fierce pointy heads, and eyes that are ringed in a very bright orange/red color. Add some miniature wings and – voila! – you’ve got the world’s tiniest dragon.

Aside from their physical appearance, croc skinks are generally pretty docile. They don’t mind being picked up and human interaction doesn’t phase them.

red eye crocodile skink
Wouldn’t you agree that this little skink’s scales are reminiscent of a dragon?

Your pet croc skink will grow to be around six or seven inches long, which makes them a very manageable size. A single croc skink will only need an enclosure ten to twenty gallons in size. We recommend going with the 20 gallon if you plan to keep a mating pair together.

Want to know an interesting factoid about the red eye crocodile skink? These skinks are actually capable of making low yelping or squeaking noises. Hatchlings and adults can make the sounds, so don’t be alarmed if you hear a strange noise from your croc skink’s home. With the exception of geckos, this behavior is very unusual in lizards.

Interested in your own little wingless dragon skink? We’ve got red-eyed crocodile skinks for sale.

Fire Skink (Riopa fernandi)

If you haven’t already guessed as much, fire skinks get their common name from their bright red/orange coloration. Like nearly all skinks, they have very smooth scales with stout legs and thick heads and tails. They stay very low to the ground and spend most of their time burrowing and hiding.

Fire skinks are carnivorous and should be fed a staple diet of crickets with mealworms, reptiworms, hornworms, and roaches to supplement and provide nutritional variety. It’s always wise to provide a light-weight water dish too, even if fire skinks are not particularly avid drinkers.

fire skink
The fire skink gets its common name from its bold red color.

Your pet fire skink should live for around fifteen to twenty years. A mature adult can grow to be fourteen or fifteen inches long, so we recommend a glass enclosure that is at least twenty gallons in size. If you wish to keep a mating pair together, we recommend a slightly larger home as these are actually pretty active lizards.

Backwater Reptiles has fire skinks for sale if you’re ready to welcome one into your own home.

Blue Tail Skink (Mabuya quinquetaeniata)

The smallest skink on our list is the Blue Tail Skink, which is also known as the Five-Lined Skink. This skink gets both of its common names from both its blue tail and the five cream-colored lines on its back and sides.

These little lizards are quite fast and thoroughly enjoy hiding. We recommend investing in a good substrate since your skink will spend a great deal of time out of sight. You can keep a single one in an enclosure as small as a plastic shoebox, although we always recommend at least a ten gallon tank.

blue tail skink
Blue tail skinks are the smallest skink species on our list.

The Blue Tail will eat anything you provide for it. They’re not usually very picky. We recommend crickets and roaches with occasional treat insects like reptiworms or wax worms.

It should be noted that of all the skink species on this list, the blue tail is the least likely to enjoy being taken out of its enclosure to be held. They are known for being a bit skittish, so if you plan to handle your blue tail a lot, be prepared to train it.

Get your very own blue tail skink from Backwater Reptiles!

The best pet skinks: Conclusion

Skinks as a species are a great pet choice for any reptile enthusiast. They all adapt well to captivity and are easy to care for. They live fairly long lives and are great for kids and adults alike. They also make awesome classroom pets.

5 Things We Love About Blue Tongue Skinks

Blue Tongue Skinks are popular pet lizards and after you read this blog article detailing the top five things the Backwater Reptiles Team loves about them, you’ll know why!

1. Blue Tongue Skinks are the dachshunds of the lizard world. Blue tongues, or “blueys” as they are more commonly known, grow to be quite long, slender, and low to the ground. Their legs are also rather short and squat in proportion to the rest of their body. Overall, they remind us of weiner dogs…if weiner dogs were lizards, that is!

blue tongue skink
This is a particularly long bluey. They can reach lengths of around two-feet.

2. Blueys are generally super friendly. While the young lizards can be a bit squirrelly, once you get them used to being handled and they learn that you are not a threat to them, they become really docile. Due to their leg size, these skinks are not quick animals and as they grow larger, they generally slow down considerably. Many blueys will even sit and watch TV with you on the couch or enjoy a good chin and head rubbingtiliqua scincoides.

3. Blue Tongues are relatively low maintenance animals. The only real “obstacle” to owning a blue tongue is that they usually need to be housed separately in fairly large enclosures. If you can meet the space requirement, they only need a substrate that allows them to burrow, a varied omnivorous diet, and appropriate heat and basking lamps.

juvenile blue tongue skink

4. Like many reptiles that are bred in captivity, blue tongues are available in different color morphs. From albino to melanistic to leucistic to patternless, blue tongue skinks have been captive bred to express genes that make their scales various colors and patterns that vary from the traditional coloring. They are essentially “designer” lizards – if you’re willing to cough up the dinero!

5. Blue Tongue Skinks have blue tongues! This might seen fairly obvious, but it’s true. The first time you see your pet bluey’s tongue, you will fall in love. It’s particularly endearing when they lick something other than food.

tiliqua gigas

We hope you enjoyed reading about why we love these amiable sausage lizards. If you’re interested in a Bluey of your own, we offer captive bred baby blue tongue skinks for sale as well as medium to large blue tongue skinks for sale.