Blue Tongue Skink Full Diet Guide - Food List, Chart, Supplements and More

Full Blue Tongue Skink Diet Guide – Food List, Supplements

In this full guide to blue tongue skink diet, you will learn everything that you need to know about feeding your blue tongue skink. You will find information on best blue tongue skink diet, best foods to feed, food chart, safe and toxic food, feeding schedules, supplements and supplement schedules for blue tongue skinks, choosing cat or dog food and much more.

What do blue tongue skinks eat?

Blue tongue skinks are omnivores, and in the wild they eat plants, vegetables, fruits, berries, blossoms, dead animals, bugs. As pets, blue tongue skinks can enjoy a big variety of foods, such as live bugs, meat, veggies, greens, dog or cat food, fruits and plants.

How often do blue tongue skinks need to eat?

Baby blue tongue skinks of under 5 months old will need to eat every day with one day a week fasting (6 days a week), 5-10 month olds – feed 2-3 times a week. Adult blue tongue skink of over 10-12 months old will need to eat only 1-2 times a week.

How much do blue tongue lizards eat?

Blue tongue skinks don’t need to eat much at all, but offer babies (under 3 months old) as much as they can eat, 2-3 times a day, 6 days a week. In general, adult blue tongue skink’s portion size should be 1-2 tablespoons of food.

What is the best time to feed a blue tongue skink?

The best time to feed your blue tongue skink is 1-2 hours after it wakes up. This will ensure that the food is digested properly before your blue tongue skink goes to sleep (they have slow digestion).

Put all the food in a large feeding bowl like this and remove any uneaten food after few hours. Otherwise, it will start rotting and smelling.

Importance of Ca:P ratio in a blue tongue skink’s diet

Calcium is one of the main minerals that your blue tongue skink needs. To maintain optimal levels of calcium in your skink lizard’s body, you should make sure that it doesn’t eat foods with high phosphorus levels. Ideal Ca:P ratio in the diet is 2:1.

This is because too much phosphorus will bind calcium and remove it from the body. Over time, this will lead to deficiencies. Corn, for example is very high in phosphorus and you should try to avoid it altogether.

Also, to utilize calcium, your blue tongue skink needs vitamin D3. For that, you must not only gut-load all the bugs (except for Phoenix worms), but also have UVB light in the tank.

Below you will find a list of best, occasional, rare and prohibited foods for blue tongue skinks. However, if you wish to find a Ca:P ratio for each type of food, see this post.

What are goitrogenic, oxalic foods and why should you limit them in a blue tongue lizard’s diet?

Goitrogenic foods are ones that contain high levels of goitrogens. Goitrogens in higher quantities will bind iodine and remove it from your blue tongue skink’s body. Over time, it will lead to thyroid issues. So, limit consumption of foods high in goitrogens.

Oxalic foods are ones that contain high levels of oxalates. Oxalates in bigger quantities will bind calcium during digestion and leave the body. This will over time cause calcium deficiency. Please offer limited quantities of oxalic foods to your blue tongue skink.

Blue tongue skink food chart

Blue Tongue Lizard Diet - Food List, Supplelements
  • Blue tongue skinks need to eat 40-45% protein – bugs mainly, and some meat, dog/cat food. Please remember that live bugs have to be gut-loaded (read below).
  • 50% – veggies and greens
  • 5-10% fruit
  • For baby and juvenile blue tongue skinks of up to 5 months old – offer 50% protein, 40-45% veggies and greens, and 5-10% fruit
  • Shingleback skinks (Tiliqua rugosa) – will need to eat less protein – around 30%. They also tend to be hungrier, so feed adults 2 times a week.

Gut-loading blue tongue skink feeder insects

Gut-loading live bugs for around 24 hours is a crucial step in a blue tongue skink’s diet. To gut-load you will need to keep your live bugs in a cricket keeper like this or other plastic container.

In this cricket pen, you will put all the bugs that you are going to feed. Fill the pen with fruit pieces (for water), squash, bran flakes, alfalfa, rolled oats and more. You can even use a Repashy omnivore gel mix to make bugs nutritious. For water, you can also use water crystals like this.

What is more, you can offer nutritious cricket food like this. You can also find a cricket quencher like this- fortified water source for crickets and other bugs.

After you gut-load your live feeder bugs, also dust them with calcium or vitamins (separate days, read more below) just before offering. You might even use a cricket shaker like this to lightly cover bugs with supplement powder.

Each type of live bugs can have their own specific care needs. If you wish to learn more about gut-loading your live feeders, read this post.

Blue tongue skink food sheet

Best safe and non-toxic greens and vegetable list for blue tongue skinks

StapleFeed occasionallyFeed rarely
Arugula (rocket)PumpkinCarrots
Collard greensKaleRadishes
EndivePinto beansOkra
EscaroleGreen beans (raw, green)Cabbage (red or green)
Mustard greensGarbanzo beans (chickpeas)Beet greens
Prickly pear cactus leavesParsnipsCelery
Acorn squashBell pepper (Red, green, yellow)Kohlrabi
Hubbard squashChayoteParsley
Scallop squashWatercressRapini
Spaghetti squashAsparagusSwiss chard
Summer squashSnap peas – pods and peasRadicchio
Dandelion greensAsparagusYucca (Cassava)
Chicory greensTurnips
Basil, spearmint, peppermint, rosemary, oregano, thyme (as treats and enticement)Swede (Rutabaga)
Mulberry leavesPotatoes (brown or sweet)
Nasturtium flowersLettuce (any type)
Hibiscus flowers and leavesCucumber
Alfalfa (fresh) – not sprouts or driedCauliflower
Brussel sprouts
Pak Choi (Bok Choy)
Green peas

Please use this table when choosing what to feed your blue tongue skink. The last row of greens and veggies are to feed rarely as they are either high in goitrogens, oxalates, low in nutrition, or have an improper Ca:P ratio. Offer them only in small quantities and from time to time.

Toxic or low nutrition veggies and greens – do not offer to your blue tongue skink

CornExtremely high in phosphorus, will bind calcium and disturb absorption
Eggplants (aubergine)Toxic
ChivesAvoid any veggies from onion family
Soybeans, edamameContain isoflavones, can mimic hormones
AvocadoPotentially toxic
MushroomsMost mushrooms are toxic
SpinachVery oxalic
LeeksIn bigger quantities can cause anemia and organ failure
RhubarbPotentially toxic
TomatoesVery acidic, high phosphorus

A list of safe fruits and berries for blue tongue skinks

Staple Feed occasionally Feed rarely
MangoesApricotWatermelon (too much will cause diarrhea)
PapayaPeachesAsian pears (oxalic)
Prickly pearCranberriesPear (oxalic)
AppleBlueberriesStrawberries (goitrogenic)
CantaloupeHoneydewPeaches (goitrogenic)
BlackberriesCherries (goitrogenic)
GuavaNectarines (high phosphorus)
FigsRaspberries (goitrogenic and oxalic)
Pomegranate (can cause impaction, high phosphorus)

Toxic or low nutrition fruits that you should avoid feeding a blue tongue skink

BananasHigh phosphorus and sugar, rare treat
KiwisVery oxalic, feed rarely or never
Star fruit (Carambola) Very oxalic, avoid altogether
Dried fruits such as figs, prunesHigh sugar, low water content, dry
Oranges, lemons, tangerines, clementine, grapefruits, kumquats, navelAvoid all citrus – will causes serious digestive issues
Green or purple grapes, raisinsBelieved to cause liver and kidney issues.
Fruits seeds (such as apple, apricot, cherry etc) – toxic

Best bugs, meat or other source of protein for your blue tongue skink

Black soldier fly larvae (also called CalciWorms, Phoenix worms) – best Staple – no need to gut-load or dustSuperworms (Morio, King worms) – high fat, offer as a treat
Silkworms – Best stapleSix-spotted roaches – high fat, offer as a treat
CricketsMealworms – high fat, offer as a treat
Tomato hornwormsFruit flies – very small
Dubia roachesSurinam roaches
Discoid roaches (also called False death roaches)Waxworms – high fat, offer as a treat
Ivory head roachesButterworms – high fat, offer as a treat
Lobster roachesPinkies (fuzzy mice, neonate mice or rats) – fatty, offer once a month or less
LocustsLean beef or goat meat – heart, ground (only cooked)
Orange head roachesChicken – breast, heart (cooked only)
Turkestan roachesLean turkey meat (cooked only)
Cat food (read more below) – for babies under 5 months old due to high protein content
Dog food (read more below)
Snails (only raised for human or reptile consumption, or detoxed for 4 days).
Eggs (cooked or raw), without oil or seasonings – treat once in 3-4 weeks
Blue Tongue Skink Diet - Vegetable Chart, Best Fruit, Meat, Supplements

Snails caught from the wild are potentially exposed to various toxins and chemicals, and can carry parasitic worms. This is why you need to buy snails that have been raised for human consumption or reptiles.

If you catch any from the wild, make sure to detox them first. To do this, put them in a cricket keeper or other plastic container, add lettuce and water (or crystals). Keep them in a plastic container for 4 days. Those that stay alive will be suitable for feeding. Feed snails with shells.

Toxic bugs for blue tongue skinks – avoid

Fireflies (lightning bugs)
Lubber grasshoppers
Monarch butterflies and caterpillars
Ants (not all are toxic, but stings of some will cause allergic reactions)
Centipede (bites)
Spiders (bites)
Queen butterflies and caterpillars
Wasps (stings)

Toxic plants for your blue tongue skink – avoid

Tomato plants
Potato plants
Bracken fern
Stinging nettle
Nightshade (any plant)
Swiss cheese plant
Red maple
Poison ivy

Can blue tongue skink eat cat or dog food?

Yes, your blue tongue skink can eat cat or dog food, but there are a lot of rules when choosing right ones. However, only offer dog or cat food occasionally, once a week for young blue tongues and once in 2 weeks for adults.

Cat foods tend to be higher in protein than dog food. So, it’s better to stick to dog food. However, you can offer cat food to blue tongues under 5-6 months old or skinny blue tongues. Then, switch to dog food.

High quality dog food can be very good for diversifying a blue tongue skink’s diet. This is because premium dog food contains animal byproduct that blue tongue skinks eat in the wild, plus topped with some vegetables, fruits, essential vitamins and minerals.

Please feed your blue tongue skink mainly live feeder bugs for protein. Gut-loaded bugs will provide correct nutrition and allow your skink to exercise. On top of insects, you can sometimes feed cat or dog food, some cooked lean meat and raw or cooked eggs (treat). If cooking eggs, don’t use any oil or seasonings.

When choosing dog or cat food, make sure they meet certain criteria:

  • Should be grain-free (blue tongues have trouble digesting carbohydrates)
  • Must contain premium ingredients (including bones, connective tissue, cartilage etc.) – important for calcium etc. and mimicking natural diet
  • Only contains lean meat product
  • Shouldn’t contain vegetables or fillers that are not good for your blue tongue – such as potatoes, spinach, wheat, corn, dairy and other veggies listed in the tables above.
  • Preferably fish and egg free
  • Avoid red meat based dog food
  • Free of artificial colors and preservatives
  • Low ash content (few percent only)

Best dog food for blue tongue skinks:

and many more… Please choose by checking ingredients mentioned above.

Can blue tongue skinks eat fish?

No, you should avoid feeding any fish to your blue tongue skink. Fish is high in fats, salts and can be high in heavy metals (mercury especially). There is also a big risk of parasites and other toxins that the fish has ingested.

With prolonged consumption the toxins and heavy metals will build up in your blue tongue’s body, leading to serious ill effects.

Can I feed my blue tongue skink frozen food?

Complete Guide to Blue Tongue Skink Diet - Best and Worst Foods Chart, Supplements

Frozen vegetables are fine to use from time to time, especially if it’s hard to find fresh ones. The problem with frozen vegetables is that when freezing, it causes degradation of vitamin B1 (thiamine). With prolonged feeding, it can lead to thiamine deficiency in your skink. Otherwise, freezing preserves nutrition well.

If you wish to feed frozen fuzzy mice or rats, make sure to thaw them properly before offering. Some owners think that feeding live baby mice or rats is inhumane, and prefer pre-killed or frozen ones.

Commercial blue tongue skink food for sale

Blue Tongue Skink Food for Sale - Repashy

You can also buy commercial food for your blue tongue skink, to offer on some days for variety or to use when you don’t have time to prepare other food. Few of the best commercial foods that you can find for sale are:

  • Repashy Bluey Buffet like this – a gel premix, omnivore diet
  • Also Repashy grub pie, veggie burger, meat pie (occasional high protein add-on)
  • Omnivore mix such as this – can be labelled for bearded dragons or other omnivores – mix of veggies and insects – make sure to offer water and some extra veggies to make up for low moisture content

Water and a water dish for a blue tongue skink

Complete Guide to Blue Tongue Skink Diet

Make sure that water is always available in your blue tongue skink’s tank. Blue tongue lizards drink water from a bowl and will also get in to soak.

The best type of a water dish for your blue tongue skink is a large water dish that your blue tongue can fit in at least partially. So, choose an extra large water dish like this, that will be big in size and sturdy. Or, you can use large cooking dishes if your blue tongue skink is big.

Change water in a bowl every day, or as soon as it’s been soiled. Cleanliness is very important to prevent infections and illnesses.

Blue tongue skink supplements

Supplements and Supplement Schedule For Blue Tongue Skink

Your blue tongue skink will also need supplements to stay healthy and active. Please get a separate pure calcium supplement (without vitamin D3 or phosphorus), and a separate multivitamin supplement. You will need to use those on different days.

Best supplements that you can get for your blue tongue skink are:

Blue Tongue Skink Supplements and Schedules

Blue tongue skink supplement schedule

Supplements For a Blue Tongue Skink
  • Hatchling and baby blue tongue skinks (0-5 months) – dust with pure calcium 3-4 times a week, multivitamin – 2 days a week.
  • Juvenile to sub-adult blue tongue skinks (5-10 months) – dust with pure calcium 2-3 times a week, multivitamin – 1-2 times a week on separate days. Same schedule for gravid and weak blue tongues.
  • Sub-adult and adult blue tongue skinks (10 months and over) – dust with pure calcium 2 times a week and multivitamin 1 day a week on separate days.

Please remember that you must always gut-load live feed, dusting is separate from gut-loading. All bugs except for Phoenix worms need gut-loading. Phoenix worms are also called Calci-Worms, Reptiworms or black soldier fly larvae, have an ideal 1.5:1 Ca:P ratio.

How much supplement to use for a blue tongue skink?

Only use a pinch of a powder to lightly cover the bugs or other food. Don’t use too much. It’s better to get a pure calcium without vitamin D (definitely no phosphorus!). Don’t add vitamins to water, only dust bugs and food!

Vitamin D should come from the diet and UVB lighting that you must have in your blue tongue skink’s tank. In a multivitamin, Ca:P ratio should be at least 2:1.

If you decide that vitamin D3 is required due to lack of UVB lighting, make sure that the supplement doesn’t contain more than 45,00-50,000 IU/kg of D3.

Thanks for reading this post. If you wish to see all the Ca:P ratios and a bigger list of foods, read this post.