How Much Are Blue Tongue Skinks? Total Cost of Owning Explained

Blue Tongue Skinks are awesome reptile babies for newbies. Having them as pets is a commitment that always pays off in the long run. 

We understand that bringing home a pint-sized scaly friend is an unparalleled thrill that simply cannot be topped! However, it is wise and savvy to anticipate what lies ahead before buying one.

The Indonesian Blue Tongue Skinks are affordable alternatives to their more expensive Australian counterparts. Australian varieties can cost between $700 and $1000, while the premium Shingleback varieties can cost up to $5000. To help you make an informed purchase, we have compiled a list of the top 10 captivating Blue Tongue Skinks, along with their prices and buying information.

Get ready to meet your perfect reptilian match! 

how much are blue tongue skinks

Looking to save a few bucks on your new scaled sidekick? Opt for the Indonesian Blue Tongue Skinks which won’t break the bank like their Australian counterparts. You’ll be happy to know that the prices for Indonesian Blue Tongue Skinks range from a cool hundred to $400. 

The Australian varieties range between $700 and $1000. However, if you’re looking for the crème de la crème of lizards, be prepared to shell out up to a staggering eight grand for the prized Shingleback varieties.

We’ve rounded up 10 of the most captivating Blue Tongue Skinks with prices and purchase information. 

Awesome Blue Tongue Skink SpeciesPrice Range   Where to buy?
1.Kei Island Blue Tongue SkinkUp to $400Click Here
2.Tanimbar Blue Tongue SkinkUp to $150Click Here
3.Classic Indonesian Blue Tongue SkinkUp to $250Click Here
4.Halmahera Blue Tongue SkinkUp to $400Click Here
5.Irian Jaya Blue Tongue SkinkUp to $400
6.Northern Blue Tongue SkinkUp to $700Click Here
7.Adelaide Pygmy Blue Tongue SkinkUp to $100Click Here
8.Western Blue Tongue SkinkUp to $500Click Here
9.Sunrise Camel Northern Blue Tongue SkinkUp to $1000Click Here
10.Shingleback Blue Tongue SkinkUp to $5000Click Here

Keen on adopting rather than buying a Blue Tongue Skink?

Northern Blue Tongue Skink on owner's palm

Skinks are an uncommon pet, so they’re by and large only available with professional breeders. Adopting a Blue Tongue Skink would be a great idea if previously-owned skinks are available in your area. Otherwise, you could always look for options on eBay!

Northern Blue Tongue Skinks are often the most accessible and affordable for adoption, typically costing no more than $200.

However, if you have your heart set on a rarer variety, be prepared to pay a premium since they are less commonly available for adoption. 

In addition, the price of adult skinks is generally higher than that of babies. This is because the breeders have invested a significant amount of time and effort in caring for them, which is reflected in the higher cost.

Know the cost of owning a Blue Tongue Skink to make the best call

Blue Tongue Skink on woman's shoulder at reptile shop

Before jumping in, let’s break down the total costs of owning a Blue Tongue Skink into two categories: ‘initial’ and ‘monthly’. Initial costs include the cost of purchasing your new pet and other long-term investments like the enclosure setup and thermometers, which we’ll delve into in a moment. 

Meanwhile, monthly expenses are what you can expect to pay each month. By weighing these costs, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether you’re financially prepared for a new scaled companion.

Initial expenses: $500 to $700 

blue tongue skink vivarium

To get your new reptilian sidekick off to the best start, it is necessary to recreate their natural habitat before bringing them home. Prepare for a smooth-sailing Blue Tongue Skink setup with our comprehensive breakdown of everything you’ll need!


To provide your Blue Tongue Skink with a comfortable and safe living space, a spacious, sturdy, and reliable vivarium should be your top priority. Depending on the size of your new reptilian friend, you’ll want to choose a vivarium that offers ample space for them to move around and thrive in an environment that mimics their natural habitat. 

Ideally, an adult Blue Tongue Skink should have a vivarium with a volume of over 100 gallons. This setup requires ample floor space, sometimes even a separate room altogether. A high-quality vivarium for your scaly sidekick should have glass walls for easy observation and a mesh top for proper air circulation.  

The price of a vivarium can vary based on several factors, including glass quality, length, volume, durability, and locking system. A good quality vivarium that meets these criteria can cost anywhere from $250 to $350, depending on where you purchase it from.

Temperature gradient 

Blue Tongue Skinks are fascinating cold-blooded reptiles that require specific temperature ranges for their survival in a vivarium. To ensure their comfort, a temperature gradient of 75-88 degrees Fahrenheit is considered ideal, allowing them to warm up or cool down as needed. 

Good quality enclosures come with a dedicated basking area that has UVB lights. This area typically has a higher temperature range of 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit so the reptile can get the desired heat when they want to. Additionally, UVB lights aid Blue Tongue Skinks in synthesizing an adequate amount of Vitamin D3 for their body to absorb calcium

Under tank heating units with heat lamps are also recommended to maintain the proper temperature and humidity throughout the tank. Additionally, the vivarium should have good hiding spots to allow your scaly friend to rest and cool down.

The investment required for the heating and lighting setup of your Blue Tongue Skink’s vivarium is approximately $100.


Most Blue Tongue Skinks thrive in a specific humidity range of 35% – 45%. A humidifier isn’t always necessary to maintain these conditions, but it’s important to keep a filled water bowl in the enclosure so that the ideal humidity is maintained in the presence of a working temperature gradient apparatus.

To ensure this, you need to have two thermometers and hygrometers at each end of the tank. This shouldn’t cost you more than 20 bucks. If your Blue Tongue Skink is native to a highly humid habitat, it’s recommended to adjust the conditions of the vivarium accordingly.


The substrate of your Blue Tongue Skink’s enclosure serves as a base for them to move around, dig, and do their business. Since it needs to be replaced every week, it’s a recurring expense you should keep in mind.

In their natural habitat, Skinks love to dig and burrow, so a deep and cozy layer of substrate is essential for their happiness. But you also need to ensure the substrate is safe, comfortable, and won’t harm your scaly buddy if they happen to ingest it.

Commonly used substrates include aspen shavings, cypress mulch, sugar cane, and even good ol’ newspaper. You can expect to spend anywhere between $10 to $30 on substrate, which adds up over time. But your Blue Tongue Skink will appreciate the effort you put into creating a comfortable and healthy home for them.

Vivarium decor

Blue Tongue Skinks aren’t particularly interested in toys, but they do appreciate some decorative touches to their enclosure to make their habitat more stimulating. Climbing spots, hollows, burrowing tunnels, and hiding spots are great additions that will keep them engaged and prevent boredom.

You don’t need to break the bank to make these decorations – you can create them yourself using wood, old boxes, or even cork rock. Other necessary accessories such as feeding bowls and water dishes can also be purchased for a reasonable cost. All in all, expect to spend around $30 for these items to keep your Blue Tongue Skink’s home comfortable and interesting.

Cost per month: Around $200

Setting up a vivarium for a Blue Tongue Skink might seem overwhelming at first, but the maintenance costs are surprisingly reasonable. These low-maintenance reptiles are easy to care for, making them an ideal choice for pet owners who want to avoid high expenses. 

Unlike many other reptiles, Blue Tongue Skinks won’t break the bank when it comes to feeding, maintenance, and veterinary expenses. Keeping a healthy Blue Tongue Skink is essential to avoid spending a lot of money on vet bills and medications. A healthy skink will only require regular feedings, which can be easily managed with an appropriate diet plan. 

Healthcare: $0 to $200

If your scaly friend is unwell, then you might need to spend extra money on medications, veterinary care, and insurance to provide the necessary care. It is crucial to take your Blue Tailed Skink for a routine check-up to ensure that they are in good health. 

This will help you identify any potential health problems and get timely treatment, thereby avoiding any hefty veterinary bills in the future. In case of illness, it’s important to seek prompt medical attention to avoid the condition from escalating and causing more harm.

Diet and Supplements: $30 to $50

Blue Tongue Skinks require a balanced omnivorous diet that includes fresh vegetables, meats, and occasional insects to keep them healthy and satisfied. However, it is not always possible to meet their complete dietary requirements with store-bought items alone.

In the wild, Skinks have access to a wide range of plants and animals, and as pets, they may require additional supplements to prevent vitamin and calcium deficiencies. Supplementing their diet with proper nutrition is important to keep them healthy and happy. These supplements are affordable and usually cost around $20 per month, making them an accessible option for pet owners.


Blue Tongue Skinks have fewer grooming needs compared to other pets. While baby Skinks shed their skin over 10 times, adult Skinks typically shed only a few times a year. In general, a healthy skink will take care of its own grooming needs, and you won’t have to spend any money on grooming.

However, if your skink faces difficulty with shedding, you may need to take it to an exotic vet for assistance. This could involve additional expenses, but with proper care and attention, your skink can continue to thrive.

Pet Insurance: Up to $150

To safeguard your exotic Blue Tongue Skink, it’s important to invest in pet insurance. These rare and fascinating creatures require specialized care that can sometimes lead to costly veterinary bills.

The cost of insurance varies depending on the provider and type of plan, but it could potentially save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run if your scaly friend ever requires expensive medical treatment.

Environment Maintenance: Up to $50

To ensure your Blue Tongue Skink stays healthy and happy, maintaining a clean living environment is crucial. Performing a deep clean of their vivarium once a month and spot cleaning daily are necessary to keep the tank free of harmful bacteria and other impurities

The bedding or substrate needs to be replaced every week, which is the only recurring cost associated with environmental maintenance.

The Actual cost of owning a Blue Tongue Skink: $100 – 250

The idea of owning an exotic pet like a Blue Tongue Skink might seem intimidating at first, but the truth is that their upkeep costs are comparable to those of any other pet. These skinks are generally low maintenance, and with proper care, they can lead healthy and happy lives for many years on a budget of around $100 per month.

That being said, if your Blue Tongue Skink does fall ill, the cost of exotic reptile medications can quickly add up. However, investing in a monthly health insurance plan of around $150 can help cover these expenses and give you peace of mind.

Overall, with a health insurance plan in place, the monthly cost of owning a Blue Tongue Skink should be around $250, making them an affordable and enjoyable addition to your household.

Know about factors that affect the price of Blue Tongue Skinks

Blue Tongue Skink on old white log

Bear in mind that the rarity of a skink directly impacts its availability. Your best bet for obtaining a skink at an affordable price would be to opt for a more common pet variety.


Discovering the perfect skink for adoption is a fascinating journey, with rarer species usually fetching a higher price tag. Some popular varieties, such as Tanimbar and Adelaide Pygmy, are relatively affordable and can be found for as little as $100. Other species, such as the Shingleback, can cost up to a whopping $5000! 


If you’re in the market for a Blue Tongue Skink, you may want to consider adopting a juvenile instead of an adult, as they tend to be more affordable. The reason for this is that breeders dedicate a significant amount of time and effort into feeding and caring for adult skinks, which drives up their costs.


If you’re looking to add a female Blue Tongue Skink to your collection, be prepared to shell out a bit more cash than you would for a male. This is because female skinks are capable of reproducing more offspring, which increases their demand and, in turn, their price tag.


When it comes to Blue Tongue Skinks, those that are purebred and exhibit a more proportional body structure with desirable colors tend to command a higher price. This is because such skinks are rarer and more difficult to breed, making them highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike.


Unhealthy pets are often sold at a lower price. Registered breeders typically offer a health guarantee. But if you’re buying or adopting a skink online, this may not always be the case. 

In such situations, you should thoroughly research the seller and ask for relevant health information to ensure you’re getting a healthy and happy Skink.


Who can keep a Blue Tongue Skink?

If you’re a reptile enthusiast with experience caring for pets, you’ll likely have no trouble keeping a Blue Tongue Skink. However, it’s crucial to have access to an exotic veterinarian in your area. 

Is it legal to own a Blue Tongue Skink in Florida?

Absolutely! It is legal to own Blue Tongue Skinks in the Sunshine State.

Note for the herpers

Blue Tongue Skinks are a popular choice for pet owners due to their amiable nature, low maintenance requirements, and suitability for both novice and experienced reptile enthusiasts. 

We hope that this article has provided you with valuable information to make an informed decision about welcoming one of these fascinating creatures into your life. 

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