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Eastern Blue-tongued Skink (Tiliqua scincoides) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat


(Cogger 2014; Shea 2017, except as noted)

Australia and nearby islands

  • Occurs across much of Australia
  • Also found in Tanibar Islands of Indonesia

Distribution of subspecies

  • T. s. chimaera
    • Tanibar Islands, Indonesia
  • T. s. intermedia
    • Northern Australia
  • T. s. scincoides
    • Southern and eastern Australia
    • Isolated subpopulation in central Australia

Elevation range

  • Sea level to 1300 m (Shaw 1992)

Historic distribution


Virtually all habitats in northern and eastern Australia

(Cogger 2014, except as noted)

  • Coastal heaths
  • Forests
  • Woodlands
  • Montane forests
  • Grasslands
  • Human-altered habitats (Koenig et al. 2001; Cronin 2014; Dutson and Dutson 2016, except as noted)
    • Gardens, backyards, parks
      • Eat non-native garden snails
    • Able to live in most cities (Wilson 2012)
      • Few other large Australian lizards live in urban areas
  • Not found in rainforests or alps; rarely found in arid interior areas (Cogger 2014; Wilson and Swan 2017)

Habitat preferences

  • Ground-dwelling (Cogger 2014)
  • Shelter under logs, in dense leaf litter and vegetation, in rock crevices, and in burrows (Horner 2004; Cronin 2014)
  • Tend to avoid wet and humid conditions
  • In urban areas, use hard surfaces (e.g., concrete, asphalt, piping) to sun bask and for shelter (Koenig et al. 2001; Cronin 2014; Dutson and Dutson 2016)

Eastern Blue-tongued Skink Distribution

Eastern blue-tongued skink distribution

The eastern blue-tongued skink occurs in northern and southeastern Australia.

Adapted from according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN).

Wide-ranging Species

Blue-tongued skink in green grass

The eastern blue-tongued skink prefers dry, temperate habitats. This species also adapts well to cities.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

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