Blue-tongue Lizards are skinks and so can ‘drop’ and regenerate their tails. The tails doesn’t break as easily as with some of the smaller skinks, but its not unusual to see adults with regenerated tails. This is the Blotched Blue-tongue Lizard (Tiliqua nigrolutea), as close relative of the Common, or Eastern Blue-tongue Lizard, that is found at lower altitudes and in drier environments. Both species are omnivorous and welcome residents and visitors to the garden, as snails make a tasty meal for them. They also eat a variety of flowers, including yellow daisy flowers and their juicy leaves; and Cape Weed flowers are also on the menu. However, the story about blue-tongue lizards eating enough young snakes to keep snake numbers under control, is a myth.
Large, old animals can be up to about 40 cm long. This not-yet-fully-grown Blotched Blue-tongue was amongst the flowering bramble berries the other day. It’s orange blotches on a black background looked striking in the sunshine. And it even poked out its tongue!
Its currently mating season for blue-tongues. The females will then give birth to live young in a few months’ time. At birth, the young eat the placental membranes, and within a few days shed their skin for the first time. The young are ready to look after themselves straight after birth, and disperse within a few days. You can read more about these animals on these Australian Museum pages.