How Often Do Blue Tongue Skinks Shed? (Facts + Pics)
If you are a proud owner of a Blue-Tongued Skink or just curious, you may be wondering how regular they shed. Maybe so you can gauge what is normal or maybe abnormal. Let me explain…
how often do blue tongue skinks shed? Shedding time depends on how quickly the blue tongue skink is growing. However, as a general rule, you can expect a baby skink to shed every few weeks. However, an adult may shed every 1 to 3 months.
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With regards to the duration of time, it takes to actually shed, this varies quite a lot as well. You can expect some to shed really quickly (within 24-hours), whereas others may take a few days.
Let me now continue with more information such as the areas of their body that cause the most issues, some weird natural oils that contribute to their shedding process. Also, I will explain if shedding is even necessary when you can tell they are starting to shed and more. Keep reading…
What areas of the body caused the most “headache” with shedding?
During the shedding process things do not always go as planned. Therefore in this section, I’m going to explain some known problem areas that you may notice with your skink during the shedding process.
The toes on the blue tongue skink have known issues for shedding. The reason for this is their toes are quite delicate therefore they are prone to be the last pieces of skin to be removed.
Also, the head is another problem area. The head is an interesting one. Why? because the head is not as active as their legs or other parts of their bodies. Therefore, they do not have the ability to shrug off the old shredded skin as well.
Later on, in the article, I will give you some suggestions about how to help this.
Natural oils for shedding.
You may be wondering how does a lizard shed its skin? Does it just happen instinctvly? and what is the actual process? In this section, I’m going to briefly cover the key driver in this process.
With the blue tongue skink, and other lizards, in general, they have an oily substance that comes out during shedding.
This oily substance will prevent the old skin (click here to see if they will eat it) from sticking to their body and causing problems with the shedding process.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go to plan and this is why sometimes you have some issues with the old skin sticking, to their head in particular.
One thing you can do is to gently rub the head to see if it will dislodge the old shedding. However, I wouldn’t persist with this too much. If it does not come off easily, forget it. The obvious reason for this is because you do not want to harm your bluey.
Is shedding necessary?
Yes. Shedding is definitely necessary. You may be wondering why this is. And, for that reason, I will explain in more detail in this section of the article.
Shedding is key to the growth of your lizard. In fact, this is not just for lizards or blue tongue skinks for that matter. Even us humans shed. The only difference is we do it very discreetly.
Us humans shed our skin very slowly, stage by stage. Meaning we may have very little flakes of skin that break off over a long period of time. This makes it almost impossible to notice it happening.
However, for your blue tongue skink, or any reptile for that matter, you will notice their shed very clearly. Because they shed their skin in one big go and there is an obvious piece of old skin left behind.
How can you tell when your Bluey is about to shed?
You may be wondering to yourself how can you actually lookout for this proactively? How can you tell when their skin is about to shed? In this section, I’m going to point out some subtle signs you can look out for. So that you can be prepared for this shedding process.
The color of their skin
When your skink is about to shed there are some subtle and some not so subtle signs. The most obvious one is their coloration. The older skin gets a bit darker and should be quite obvious to you, especially if you are quite close to their skin.
Also you may notice a difference in color on the underside of their belly.
Other more subtle observations include their eating habits. You may find that they are off their food slightly during this process. However, this is quite subtle and not always the case for every lizard.
Their old shedded skin
One thing that is obvious, and I’m sure you will agree with me when you see this. Obviously, when they have completed their shed you will see the old shed its skin, but there is something else. More interestingly is the new shiny glowing looking skin after they have shed their skin.
Why do some lizards use water to shed?
One thing that you may notice in the wild is some larger lizards use water to help them shed. These lizards will submerge themselves into lakes or rivers so the shedding process is done easier.
This can be emulated in captivity by providing a soaking dish. It can also double up as a reservoir of water for them to consume and keep themselves hydrated.
However, you want to make sure that this water bowl is not too deep. For obvious reasons you do not want your lizard to get caught in the water and cause themselves any injuries.
Should you pull off the excess skin during shedding?
During this shedding process, you may notice that there are bits of excess skin left behind, as discussed earlier. In this section I’m going to explain some of the reasons why do not want to remove this.
Do not be tempted to remove the skin during a shedding process. This is a big “no-no”!
Because she is a natural process and will happen in its own sweet time. It may happen in one day, if you’re lucky, if not it could drag on for a few days.
One exception though, you may notice some dead skin hanging around their ears, known as “earplugs”, which may be easily removed. But, in general you should not be removing any of their skin. Especially not using tools like tweezers and things like this.
In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to Blue-tongued skins and shedding of skin. If you feel that you have some unanswered questions in your mind, please feel free to drop a comment below.
Q: Can blue tongue skinks eat dry dog food?
No, they should not eat dry dog food. Dry dog food is not easily digested by blue tongued skinks and they will struggle to eat it. In fact, I’d be very surprised if they are even tempted to try it.
However, some lizard owners swear by giving their lizard dog food and say that they love it. But this is wet dog food, not dry. Also, you need to avoid dog food with artificial colors, flavorings or bad ingredients
According to this site, One serving suggestion is to use wet dog food but also mix it up with vegetables to improve the nutritional value of the meal.
Q: How many eggs does the blue tongue skink lay at a time?
You may be wondering if blue tongue skinks lay eggs or give birth to live young. For that reason, I’m going to clarify this one floor.
These skinks do not lay any eggs because they actually birth live young. This is quite rare because most lizards typically lay eggs, therefore, it is a reasonable assumption to make.
Q: What is the biggest blue tongue skink?
You may be curious about the size of skinks (Click here to see if a Blue Tongue Skink can Live in a 40 Gallon Tank?) well in this section I will reveal which one is the biggest.
According to Wikipedia, The Northern blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua Scincoides Intermedia) is the largest. They grow to a whopping 22 inches in length and definitely more of an advanced choice of lizard.