The blue-tailed skink, also known as a five-lined skink, is a small to medium-sized tropical skink that grows to about 20 cm. Known scientifically as Cryptoblepharus egeriae, it’s a beautiful lizard that is native to Australia’s Christmas Island.
In general, blue-tailed skinks eat locusts, crickets, spiders, roaches, snails, slugs, and earthworms. Blue-tailed skinks will eat just about any insect, however. They occasionally even eat vegetation.
If you’re interested in learning more about what blue-tailed skinks eat, the remainder of this article will discuss everything you need to know.
Blue-tailed skinks are generally insectivores and tend to feed on a diet of locusts, crickets, roaches, snails, slugs, and worms. They can also eat slightly larger vertebrae prey, such as baby mice, smaller lizards, and frogs.
Some blue-tailed skinks also eat plants, though insects and small animals remain their primary food source
Insects are vital prey for most blue-tailed skinks that live in the wild, and usually form the bulk of their diet. In addition to the insects listed above, these lizards also eat grasshoppers, spiders, beetles, and flies. Skinks will even eat the larval forms of these insects, if they can find them.
Because of their insectivorous nature, feeding insects to your blue-tailed skink in captivity will mimic its diet in the wild.
Arachnids, such as spiders, scorpions, and daddy longlegs, are also frequent meals of the blue-tailed skink.
In the wild, blue tail skinks also consume these scorpions and spiders, despite their venom-delivering stingers and fangs.
Some adventurous keepers drop small arachnids into their blue-tailed skink’s tank from time to time. I don’t recommend this.
While your skink might have fun catching and eating it, you should generally avoid feeding it spiders or scorpions. Their venomous stingers and fangs can cause serious harm to your pet if they manage to get through its defenses and sting your lizard. These stings and bites can cause sickness, paralysis, and even death, so it’s best not to mess with them.
Larger blue-tailed skinks won’t hesitate to devour smaller lizards in their environment. Feeding your skink the occasional lizard might seem like a fun treat. However, it’s not a good idea.
Not only can these lizards fight back and harm your skink, but they can also carry deadly parasites that can infect and harm your pet.
Some of the more common parasitic infections carried by lizards are roundworms, hookworms, and pinworms. These creatures can cause your skink to suffer from severe digestive issues, so it’s best to avoid them at all costs.
You might be able to solve the parasite problem by buying lizards bred in captivity. However, these are pretty expensive, so regularly incorporating lizards in your skink’s diet might break your budget.
One more tip: If you have multiple lizards, don’t house the smaller ones with your skink. They’ll probably end up as breakfast.
Veggies and fruits
Some blue-tailed skinks have a diet that consists of up to 70 percent of green leafy vegetables and fruits. While they prefer insects, they can survive and thrive on a mostly vegetarian diet.
If you plan on feeding your skink fruits and veggies, these types are your best bet:
- Red-tipped lettuce
- Collard greens
- Apple slices
A majority of lizards, including blue-tailed skinks, will eat earthworms when the opportunity presents itself. They will also consume small snails and slugs whenever possible.
As a rule of thumb, only provide your pet with snails that are the size of their eye or smaller.
You should also ensure that slugs and snails are only collected from regions in which pesticides haven’t been used to keep your pet safe and healthy. Because skinks are small, even a trace amount of pesticide can poison them.
Blue-tailed skinks also feed on rodents. While it’s rare for blue-tailed skinks to encounter nesting rodents, larger blue-tailed skinks will often eat small rodents if they cross paths with one.
You can feed baby rodents to adult skinks, but you can’t feed them to baby skinks – they won’t be able to chase or eat them easily.
While a rodent might make for a nice occasional treat, you shouldn’t feed too many to your pet. They are significantly harder to eat than insects and plants, and your pet won’t appreciate the extra work they need to put in to get fed.
If you do decide to feed small rodents to your blue tailed skink, only provide them with killed rodents or frozen-thawed rodents. Not only will this protect your skink from injury, but it will also avoid causing unnecessary suffering to the rodents.
Top Foods for Blue Tailed Skinks
Zoo Med Silkworms
If you’re looking for affordable, nutritious food for your blue-tailed skink, Zoo Med Silkworms (available on Amazon) are a great bet.
One of the main benefits of silkworms is how easy they are to eat. Their exterior is quite soft compared to those of other feeder insects. Your skink won’t have to chew through a hard exoskeleton to get its nutrition.
On top of this, silkworms are also a great source of essential amino acids and healthy polyunsaturated fat. They are a healthy and affordable meal for all lizards – skinks include.
Also, the reptile community holds Zoo Med in high regard. The company has a long-standing reputation of releasing healthy and safe reptile products, so you can trust them to raise and harvest your lizard’s food.
Black Soldier Fly Larvae
If you want a live food source rich in protein and calcium, go with Symton Large Feeding Grade Black Soldier Fly Larvae (available on Amazon).
This pack comes with a 500 count of live larvae, so you can expect to have sufficient food to last a couple of weeks. If you’d like to choose a different brant, these creatures also have other trade names. Search for phoenix worms, calciworms, and red worms.
Freeze Dried Crickets
Crickets are a tasty and healthy meal for blue-tailed skinks. If you plan on using crickets in your lizard’s diet, I recommend Fluker’s Freeze Dried Crickets (available on Amazon).
Crickets are one of the primary food sources for blue-tailed skinks in the wild. Because of this, it would be more than suitable to add some dried or live crickets to your skink’s daily diet.
One thing I like about the Fluker’s brand is that they feed their crickets a high calcium diet before freeze-drying them. This increases their nutritional value and makes them a better choice over other options that don’t have elevated calcium levels.
Additional feeding tips
- The amount of food that you should feed your blue-tailed skink depends on several factors, such as its size and age. However, generally speaking, you should offer babies and younger blue-tailed skinks food as often and as much food as they like. If you have an adult, you should feed it every other day.
- Younger skinks prefer ants, worms, and centipedes – so try to find those if you’ve got a baby on your hands.
- It is best to place the food in a shallow dish. When your pet is finished eating, you should always remove any leftover portions.
- Also, never make the mistake of leaving live prey in the cage or tank with your blue-tailed skink overnight. A frightened prey animal may cause injury or harm to your pet, sometimes severe enough for emergency care.
- Sprinkle some calcium or mineral powder on your lizard’s meal. It will boost their bone strength and make them healthier overall.
- Finally, if you want to keep several pet lizards, you can benefit from culturing crickets or roaches at home to save money.
Blue-tailed skinks eat insects, small animals, and plants. While you can technically feed them a wide variety of foods that fit one of these three categories, there are a few options that are safer and healthier than the rest:
- Fly larvae
If you’d like an easy, affordable source of these healthy meals, the following recommended skink foods are all available on Amazon: