can blue tongue skinks drop their tails

Can Blue Tongue Skinks Drop Their Tails?

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We all can get a little shock when something unexpected happens with our pet. For blue tongue skink owners, it is essential to know what skinks can do. Interestingly, whether blue tongue lizards lose their tails or not, it’s vital to learn it’s consequences. Can blue tongue skinks drop their tails have been debated repeatedly on forums. 

Here, in this guide, I will tell you if blue tongue skinks drop their tails. Skink dropping its tail can be pretty shocking, which is why it is a must to know why they do that and what you should do.

Do Blue Tongue Lizards Lose Their Tails?

Out of distress, blue tongue lizards can drop their tail. They also lose their tails when predators grab or drag them from their seats. Some may also drop their tail In response to human touch. The dropped tail can look bloody mess & disgusting as it continues to move. However, this is what keeps the predators busy while the blue tongue escapes.

From here, we will discuss – can blue tongue skinks drop their tail along with if it hurts them or not. We will discuss if skink can regrow its tail or survive without it in more detail. In my research and experience, I never had found one skink dropping its tail until recently. 

In her forum, one of my friends mentioned how a young skink dropped its tail and startled her a bit. If you are concerned about transferring your skink from one container to a new tank, make sure not to pick it up from their tail. It can make them frightened, distressed to lose their tail.

Can Blue Tongue Skinks Drop Their Tails?

Yes, blue tongue skink drops their tail as a defense mechanism in the wild. You don’t have to worry about predators in captivity, but larger pets approaching the tank can also make your skink drop its tail. Skinks mostly drop their tail when they are stressed or threatened.

In the wild, blue tongue skink also drop their tail when predators grab them by the tail. Other than this, skin issues or skin that has not been appropriately shed on the bottom can also make them lose it. In the wild, tail dropping tends to be the most effective defense mechanism for skinks, helping them escape predators. 

As you know, lizards like skinks don’t have any other actual defense mechanism; they drop their tail and show their blue tongue when harassed. Besides tail dropping, a blue tongue skink can also play dead when harassed or bitten. 

You might have noticed a dropped tail continuing to wriggle and flop around to distract the predators long enough to dart off into safety which clearly shows how nature balances everything. 

Why Do Blue Tongue Skinks Drop Their Tail?

After knowing, skinks drop their tail as a defense mechanism and sometimes out of stress; what are other things that can make your blue tongue skinks drop their tail. Here are a few common reasons why a blue tongue skink will drop its tail.

9 Common Reasons Why A Skink Will Drop Its Tail

  1. Skin issues like retained skink on the tails.
  2. Swelling or abscess in/on/around the tail or its area.
  3. Being grabbed by the tail.
  4. Stress and fear.
  5. Holding a skink by the tail.
  6. Fungal or bacterial infections.
  7. Illness.
  8. Bullying from the Tankmates
  9. Low immunity.

How Do Blue Tongue Skinks Show Fear? (You Have To Know This)

how do blue tongue skinks show fear (you have to know this)
how do blue tongue skinks show fear (you have to know this)

Some lizards clearly show that they were scared to death when losing their tail. Sometimes, your skink can think a predator has grabbed them and lost its tail. You need to know how do blue tongue skinks show fear. 

It is pretty easy to learn and understand the signs of your blue tongue skinks. Their body language, behavior, and movement can tell you if they are feeling stressed or scared. It will help you understand when is the right time to leave your skinks alone and when not. 

Sometimes, you also end up stressing out your skin without even knowing it. Here are a few ways blue tongue skink shows fear.

  1. Skink is closing its eyes. If your blue tongue skink closes its eye when you are handling them, it shows that it is enjoying it. However, sometimes, they can even close their eyes out of fear or discomfort. Sometimes, skinks close their eyes to show discomfort they’re feeling when handling as well. Try to respect your blue tongue skinks body language and act accordingly.
  2. Stink bites you. Sometimes a scared blue tongue skin can even bite its owner. I have shared a detailed guide on blue tongue skink bite to check. Their bite isn’t fatal, so don’t ever be concerned about it. A biting skink always represents something being wrong, either with them or its tank.
  3. Hissing. If your blue tongue skinks feel threatened, they are more likely to hiss like a cat and puff up. This is one of the most common behavior of lizards and reptiles when they feel scared or in front of the Predator.
  4. Skink is keeping its tongue out. If your skink is keeping its blue tongue out repeatedly, then maybe it are trying to scare off something. You should do a quick spot check in that enclosure and see if anything scares your skink off.
  5. Skinks loosing its tail. Blue tongue skink may drop its tail as well out of fear.

Does It Hurt A Skink To Lose Its Tail?

Blue Tongue Lizards Dropping its tail is unnerving, and this process is called Caudal Autotomy. Skink loses its seat as a defense mechanism and is not painful. It does not seriously harm your skink. However, tail dropping hurts your skink’s ability to run faster.

Do Blue Tongue Lizards Regrow Their Tails?

Yes, blue tongue lizards can regrow their tail if they drop it as a defense mechanism. A blue tongue skink only drops its tail when the situation tends to be extreme. They can regrow their tails but often, they end up with a underdeveloped one.

If you notice your blue tongue skink’s tail not fully developed, it is obvious your stink had lost its tail at some point you didn’t see. If your blue tongue lizard has lost its tail in an accident or due to tail rot, it may not be able to grow the tailback fully.

Can Blue Tongue Lizards Survive Without A Tail?

Yes, blue tongue lizards can survive without the tail, but their life expectancy & ability to run faster are likely to be affected. Power feeding with good quality nutrients to skinks may help develop or regrow its tailback, even if it’s for a few inches. Without a tail, blue tongue lizards do well in captivity but not in the wild. 

Without a tail, a blue tongue lizard will become more sluggish. Their tail helps them move through the water as well as for balance. However, the primary motive for Lizard’s tail is to ditch it in case of predators to save its own life.

Without a tail, a blue tongue skink will not be able to dash. Plus, their overall attractiveness to the opposite sex and its social standing also get negatively affected.

How Long Does It Take For A Blue Tongue Skink Tail To Grow Back?

Bluetongue skink’s tail can take about 2-18 months to grow back fully depending upon age, diet, weight, overall surrounding & environment. Sometimes, the skink isn’t even able to grow its tail fully back when it loses due to tail rot. 

Most skink grows their tailback under one year if they lose it as a defense mechanism. Skinks are less likely to lose their tail in captivity, but even if they did, it could take over a year due to stress levels. 

My Blue Tongue Skinks’ Tail Fell Off – What Do I Do?

If your blue tongue skink’s tail fell off in captivity, then there is something wrong. Skinks should not lose or drop their tail unless they are very distressed or in extreme situations. Pet skinks dropping their tail is not suitable for their health, and you should take steps to make your skin feel more comfortable. 

Even, they can regrow their tail; they will be unable to regrow after a few times. You should provide them with nutrients and comfort to promote the growth of their seat. Sometimes, skink may drop its tail out of panic when you grab them. Their tail growth will be hindered without proper nutrients and rest.

Most probably, your blue tongue skink’s tail did not simply fall off; it could be anything. Your blue tongue skink might have lost it due to a disease or in a fight or an accident as well. I would recommend you to get your blue tongue skink to a vet for a quick health check-up and see if it’s ok or not. A veterinarian will also help you understand what happened.

Final Thoughts

Wrapping up: As you see, blue tongue skink can drop their tail as well as regrow. It doesn’t mean they can always regrow their tail. Sometimes, a blue tongue skink doesn’t even get a fully developed seat the second or third time. Make sure to provide them with a comfortable and safe environment to keep them out of stress or panic.

I hope I’ve provided enough to give you all the information needed on – can blue tongue skinks drop their tail. If you find this post helpful, then consider sharing it with others. Make sure to check our detailed guide on how to care for blue tongue skinks. I hope I will get to see another article as well, till then take care and goodbye.

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