13 Most Popular Blue Tongue Skink Morphs, Types, and Subspecies

All blue tongue skinks belong to the genus Tiliqua, which are naturally found in various regions in Indonesia and Australia. In this post we will give you a concise overview of the currently recognized subspecies of blue tongue skinks, accompanied by relevant notes.

Remember, getting Australian blue tongue species, especially in the United States, can be challenging due to strict exportation laws.

Before we get to the list of the most common blue tongue skink morphs lets first understand a few things. You might be asking yourself, “What exactly are morphs?” – a totally fair question!

In the world of reptiles, ‘morph’ refers to the genetic variation in the color and pattern of an animal within the same species. Picture it as different outfits a Blue Tongue Skink can wear.

The ‘types’ and ‘subspecies,’ on the other hand, are more about the genetic distinctions that lead to differences in size, shape, and natural habitat.

Blue Tongue Skink Morphs and Subspecies

There are mainly two subspecies of blue tongue skink, the Australian and Indonesian. All Indonesian blue tongue skink subspecies are typically wild caught because there are no restrictions on exporting animals out of Indonesia.

Australian Blue Tongue Subspecies

1. Northern (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia)


The Northern Blue-Tongued Skink, scientifically known as Tiliqua scincoides intermedia, is primarily found in the tropical and subtropical regions of Australia, particularly in the northern parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory. They inhabit a variety of habitats, including woodlands, grasslands, and rocky areas.

Northerns are the most popular blue tongue skink species in the reptile community, having become very tame through generations of captive breeding.

Northern blue tongue skinks are very similar to Eastern species in appearance but with a few differences.

These skinks have a stout body with short limbs and a triangular-shaped head. They have rough, overlapping scales that give them a distinct appearance. The coloration can vary, but they typically have a grayish-brown or olive-brown body with dark bands or blotches across their back. The underside is usually lighter in color.

They are relatively large lizards, reaching an average length of around 40-50 centimeters (15-20 inches) as adults. However, some individuals can grow even larger.

2. Eastern (Tiliqua Scincoides)


Eastern blue-tongued skinks are endemic to the eastern parts of Australia, including Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. They inhabit a variety of habitats such as woodlands, grasslands, scrublands, and suburban areas. These skinks are known to be adaptable and can often be found near human settlements.

Eastern blue-tongued skinks have a stout body with a triangular-shaped head and short limbs. They can grow up to 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) in length. Their skin color varies, but they typically have a light brown to dark brown background color with darker blotches or bands across their bodies.

3. Western (Tiliqua Occipitalis)


The Western Blue Tongue Skink is native to the arid and semi-arid regions of Australia, particularly found in the western parts of the country. It has adapted remarkably well to the challenging desert-like environments it inhabits, showcasing its resilience and adaptability.

Measuring an average length of 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 centimeters), this skink boasts a robust and stocky build. Its body is characterized by smooth scales, which are predominantly colored in various shades of brown, gray, or reddish-brown. The scales may exhibit intricate patterns, such as bands or speckles, providing natural camouflage and protection from predators.

4. Blotched (Tiliqua Nigrolutea)


Blotched Blue Tongue Skinks are native to certain regions of Australia, where they inhabit a variety of habitats ranging from woodlands to grasslands.

The Blotched is a captivating morph known for its distinct markings and vibrant coloration. As the name suggests, this skink’s body is adorned with irregular blotches that vary in size, shape, and intensity, creating a stunning mosaic pattern that sets it apart from other morphs.

In addition to its mesmerizing pattern, the Blotched Blue Tongue Skink has a robust and stocky build, with a moderately-sized head and a thick, muscular body. Its tail is relatively short compared to its body length and tapers to a point. As with other blue tongue skink morphs, it possesses a broad, triangular head and a thick, fleshy tongue, which it uses to communicate and defend itself.

Blotched blue tongues grow up to 24″ (60 cm) long and tend to have longer lifespans—up to 30 years.

5. Centralian (Tiliqua Multifasciata)


Hailing from the arid regions of Central Australia, this particular skink species has gained popularity among reptile enthusiasts for its unique morphs and noteworthy features.

The Centralian Blue Tongue Skink showcases a medium-sized body, typically measuring around 18 to 24 inches in length. It possesses a robust build and features a smooth, glossy skin that can vary in coloration, depending on its morph. While the base coloration of this species is typically a rich, earthy brown, it can also exhibit vibrant variations, including light tan, deep orange, and even reddish hues.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Centralian Blue Tongue Skink is its intricate pattern. This species boasts a series of dark, wide bands that span across its body, usually surrounded by contrasting lighter bands. The arrangement and intensity of these bands can differ among individuals, contributing to the diversity of morphs observed within this skink species.

6. Shingleback/Bobtail (Tiliqua Rugosa)


The Shingleback, also known as the Bobtail (Tiliqua rugosa), is a fascinating species of skink renowned for its distinctive appearance and captivating personality. This reptile is native to the southern regions of Australia and is highly sought after by reptile enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.

One of the most notable features of the Shingleback is its robust and stocky build. It has a relatively short and broad body, which gives it a compact appearance. The scales on its skin are thick and have a rough texture, resembling shingles on a roof, hence the name “Shingleback.” The coloration of this skink can vary, but it typically exhibits shades of brown, tan, or gray, which allow it to blend effectively with its natural surroundings.

The Shingleback’s most recognizable characteristic is its short, stumpy tail, which often appears disproportionately large in comparison to its body. This unique feature is where it gets its alternative name, the “Bobtail.” Despite its reduced length, the tail is incredibly versatile and acts as a storage organ for fat reserves, allowing the skink to survive during periods of limited food availability.

7. Adelaide Pygmy (Tiliqua Adelaidensis)


Native to the Adelaide region of South Australia, this particular skink species has captured the hearts of reptile enthusiasts worldwide.

Distinctive in its size, the Adelaide Pygmy is one of the smaller blue tongue skink morphs, typically measuring around 5-6″ (13.5-16 cm) in length when fully grown. Its petite stature makes it an ideal choice for reptile keepers looking for a compact and manageable pet.

What truly sets the Adelaide Pygmy apart is its stunning coloration. This morph boasts a rich blend of vibrant hues, featuring a base color that ranges from warm caramel to deep brown, accented by striking bands of bold black. These contrasting colors create a visually captivating pattern that extends across the skink’s back, giving it an alluring appearance.

Another noteworthy feature of the Adelaide Pygmy is its charmingly rounded snout. While many blue tongue skinks possess a slightly pointed snout, this morph’s rounded facial structure adds to its unique appeal. The rounded snout not only gives it a distinct look but also aids in distinguishing it from other blue tongue skink species.

Indonesian Blue Tongue Skink Subspecies

1. Classic Indonesian (Tiliqua gigas gigas)


The Classic Indonesian Blue Tongue Skink, scientifically known as Tiliqua gigas gigas, is naturally from the lush tropical regions of Indonesia.

One of the most distinctive features of the Classic Indonesian Blue Tongue Skink is its vibrant coloration. Its body is adorned with a beautiful combination of earthy tones, typically showcasing a deep brown or black base color, accompanied by vibrant bands or blotches in lighter shades of brown or orange. These markings create an eye-catching pattern that sets this morph apart from other blue tongue skink types.

With an average length of 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 centimeters), the Classic Indonesian Blue Tongue Skink showcases a robust and compact build. Its sturdy body is complemented by a thick, tapering tail, which aids in balance and serves as a fat storage reserve during periods of scarcity.

2. Merauke (Tiliqua Gigas Evanescens)


Originating from the Merauke region of Papua, Indonesia, these skinks showcase a unique set of characteristics that make them a favorite among reptile enthusiasts.

The Merauke Blue Tongue Skink is a relatively large lizard, reaching an average length of 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 centimeters). They possess a robust and elongated body with short, sturdy limbs. Their heads are broad and triangular, featuring a distinctive, bright blue tongue, from which they derive their common name.

One of the defining features of the Merauke morph is their stunning coloration. They exhibit a base color that ranges from a rich, dark brown to a deep chocolate hue. Along their bodies, you will find a series of irregular, pale beige to cream-colored bands or blotches, creating a beautiful contrast against their darker background. This coloration provides excellent camouflage in their natural habitat.

3. Halmahera (Tiliqua Gigas Gigas)


Native to the tropical forests of Halmahera Island in Indonesia, this particular subspecies showcases a unique combination of physical characteristics that sets it apart from other blue tongue skinks.

The Halmahera Blue Tongue Skink is known for its impressive size, typically reaching lengths of 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm) when fully grown.

Its robust build and muscular body give it a commanding presence within its habitat. The skink’s dorsal scales exhibit a beautiful variation of colors, including shades of brown, gray, and black, which blend together to form intricate patterns resembling the textures of tree bark. These patterns serve as effective camouflage, helping the skink blend into its natural environment.

The most basic way of identifying these skinks is by looking at the pattern on the bellies; this subspecies has a black and white or a black and pink pattern on the belly.

4. Tanimbar (Tiliqua scincoides Chimaera)


Naturally found in the Tanimbar Islands of Indonesia, these unique reptiles showcase an impressive spectrum of colors, ranging from silver-grey to deep bluish-black, typically sporting a marbled pattern that truly sets them apart.

Often characterized by a relatively slender body and long tail compared to other blue tongue skinks, the Tanimbar morph stands out, thanks to its vibrant, blue tongue, a common feature among the species. These charming creatures have a propensity for burrowing and have a more active disposition, making them a constant source of interest for their keepers.

In terms of size, Tanimbars generally reach lengths of about 24 inches as mature adults. In the wild, their habitat is tropical, which translates to a preference for higher humidity levels when kept in captivity. This means potential owners should be prepared to provide a suitable living environment that mimics their natural habitat.

5. Kei Island (Tiliqua Gigas Keyensis)


This subspecies of the Blue-tongue skinks come from the picturesque Kei Islands of Indonesia, a beautiful habitat that lends its name to this unique skink. A striking characteristic of this morph is their larger size, with adult skinks reaching lengths of up to 24 inches – they’re truly a sight to behold!

The Kei Island morph sports a vibrant mix of colors. Its body is primarily a beautiful shade of brown, which seamlessly transitions into orange or red tones towards its belly. Adding to the visual spectacle are the dark bands that stretch across its body, lending it an aura of mystique.

Like all Blue Tongue Skinks, the Kei Island morph is known for its iconic blue tongue, a stark contrast against its earthy toned body. It’s an adaptation that serves as a defensive mechanism against predators – a quick flash of that bright blue tongue can startle potential threats, giving the skink a chance to escape.

6. Irian Jaya (Tiliqua ssp)


This subspecies is considered rare and exhibits the physical traits of both Indonesian and Australian Blueys. The Irian Jaya Blue Tongue Skink can grow up to 2 feet till maturity and has a dark brown body with a golden or peach undertone.

This distinct blue tongue specie hails from the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya, a region that gifts it its name.

Distinct in appearance, the Irian Jaya Blue Tongue Skink boasts an alluring blend of colors that vary from shades of tan and brown to an almost reddish hue. These shades intertwine in a marbled pattern, creating a unique and appealing visual effect on the skink’s robust body. To make them stand out even more, their characteristic blue tongues add a fascinating contrast to their earthy-colored bodies.

Blue Tongue Skink Morphs FAQs

How Do I Know What Morph My Blue Tongue Skink Is?

The color and patterns on the Blue-tongue skink help categorize them under different morphs. You may check your reptile for the patterns and pigments to put it in the correct category.

What Is The Rarest Blue Tongue Skink?

The rarest subspecies of Blue Tongue Skinks are Adeliade Pygmy and Irian Jaya. In addition to this, if you are searching for rare morphs of this reptile, then Albino Blue-Tongue Skink is the correct answer, as it’s tough to come by this morph through breeding.

What Morph Is A Fancy Blue Tongue Skink?

While talking about “Fancy,” the mind automatically creates bright hues and distinctive patterns; however, the definition of fancy may change from one person to another depending on their liking. The Blue-Tongue Skink Lava morph is considered the fanciest morph among reptile lovers because of its bright hues and blended stripes.


The blue-tongue skink being a friendly and low-maintenance reptile, is very famous among reptile pet lovers and is highly demanded. The natural hues of this reptile are beautiful, yet the breeders continue to experiment with the different species to create colorful morphs. Several subspecies and morphs of this reptile can be found in exotic pet stores and online.

Breeders can also experiment with crossbreeding different morphs, which can sometimes get challenging, yet the results can be downright astonishing.

If you want to learn more about blue tongue skinks we recommend reading a book or two. Whether a newbie, an experienced reptile owner, or a breeder, a good reptile care book is a great help, especially when searching for information about Blue-Tongue skink morphs and caring for them.

One of the recommended options is “Blue-Tongue Skinks-From the Experts at Advanced Vivarium System” by David C. Wareham to know every detail about this reptile. It guides the newbies and the experienced breeders about housing, handling, caring, and breeding the Blue-Tongue Skinks.

Ever wondered what the different blue tongue skink types are? Well, it’s a topic widely searched and studied by people around the globe; yet the information on the kinds, morphs, and subspecies of the blue-tongue skinks is not readily available.

According to their origin and genetic mutations, blue-tongue skinks have different types and subspecies. A morph of blue-tongue skink has a different appearance because of some genetic mutation but is not a species. We’ll explain the various forms of this friendly reptile through this article.

Filled under: Lizards

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