Differences Between Types of Blue Tongues

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Steve88
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Differences Between Types of Blue Tongues

Postby Steve88 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:14 pm

Hello,

My daughter wants a skink...I talked her into instead of getting a dog, something I want to avoid at all costs. I love dogs and have had them much of my life but our house and situation isn't good for one right now. I've had reptiles many times in the past, but not recently since being married and having kids.

I don't know much about blue tongues. And now I see there are all these different types. Are the temperaments of these basically the same, or is one species more aggressive and more likely to bite?

I've got some choices, such as these:

1. Baby Halmehera Blue Tongues, captive bred. $175
2. Tequila Scinoides/Gigas - somewhere between Eastern and Indonesian? $190. Baby/Juvenile
3. Merkakue Blue Tongued - Baby. $249
4. Irian Jaya Captive bred baby - $220

Obviously I know Northerns are supposed to be among the best, but the cost for them may be out of my price range right now. Any suggestions on what I should get here? Like I mentioned earlier, I'd love an expert to tell me what the difference are in some of these species. I do know obviously the breeder or place I buy it has to be reputable as well. Appreciate any information.
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Re: Differences Between Types of Blue Tongues

Postby tcopitho » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:50 am

Temperment depends on the individual animal and not the species or subspecies in most cases and in my experience. Dont forget blueys are a very long lived commitment at 20 to 30 year lifespans, when subing them for a dog, they out live a dog by two to three life times. On to your options;

1. Any indo species that is not CBB (captive born and bred) will need to see a vet and likely be treated for internal parasites (de-wormed), so be aware of the extra vet costs for these guys. There is also a small possibility of other health issues such as respitory infection. I say this because alot of these guys are imported or bought as babies on whole sale to be flipped for profit, and are made sick through poor care, stress, or are bought and sold sick. Like you mentioned a reliable source is key in avoiding such things. Be aware that there are many poor sources out there who can sound legit if you dont do your research and trust them to do honest buisness (but I suposes that goes for anything).

Something else to be aware of which is important when looking for the right skink, captive bred (CB) is not the same as captive born and bred (CBB). Imported animals from poor or even uneducated sources are often mislabled. So unless you get your indo bluey from a breeder who can provide you history of the parents, and pictures, there is a very slim chance the skink will be true CBB. The upside is, there are quite a few breeders working with the indo species, IJ being your best bet for cost to CBB availability. I can say with some confidence, there are no CBB halmehera form gigas in the US.

2. Scinoides/Gigas... somewhere between eastern and gigas tells me that this seller is not one of those reliable sources. They may not be crooked, but they obviously dont know a thing about blue tongues. Its likely these babies are imported or birthed from a wild caught indo bluey that was gravid during import. True easterns are resonably rare in the states and sell for more than northerns. No one has them kicking around without knowing what they've got. Could be that these are IJs which can sometimes have a similar look as adults, although I cant imagine them being mistaken as babies.

3 and 4. Merauke and IJ are covered in point one. Both make good pets and tame very nicely.

Definitely have a look in the recomended breeders doc here on the site and get in touch with some breeders. CB animals do make good pets, there is just the vet check that is a potential hidden cost.

Hope this helps some. Good luck!
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Re: Differences Between Types of Blue Tongues

Postby Steve88 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:41 pm

Thanks for the help! Getting one from a breeder is great but it is more expensive and can often take a long time. But I understand. I will look around.
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Re: Differences Between Types of Blue Tongues

Postby tcopitho » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:01 am

Id suggest IJ, Northern, or Merauke as a family pet and first bluey. Their care is a little easier and they can all tame up quite nicely. A Halmehera has some of the most difficult care requierments due to the need for very high ambient humidity. Respiratory and sheding issues can result from not properly meeting their humidity needs. Merauke would be the next for difficulty for the same reason, the need for high humidity. Although they maybe a little more forgiving than the Halms, and can be easily managable with some comitment and a few humidity retaining tricks.

Steve88 wrote:Thanks for the help! Getting one from a breeder is great but it is more expensive and can often take a long time. But I understand. I will look around.


Absolutely, and I dont mean to say its your only option. Some of my best skinks were imports orginaly. I only mean to point out the upfront cost from a breeder vs the hidden cost of an import. You may get lucky with your import and get by with only say 40$ vet visit plus 40$ dewormer. Hypothetical 80$ on top of the sale price. Thats what the standard checkup and dewormer costs for me (likely will vary for you). To me its not worth skipping out on this step with an import and so is standard practice for any of my new skinks.

Ive had two imported skinks out of four, from different sources, that came to me with respiratory issues. One costed me 700$ at the vet, and we never did get to the bottom of it, and the other costed 200$. I bought them at my own risk, knowing there would be higher possibility for issue, and I just got unlucky with them. So I dont mean to detour you but to share with you the risk of the options you listed, and how much it could cost. Chances are you will have no issues, but its better to be aware than nlind sided... maybe?
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Re: Differences Between Types of Blue Tongues

Postby Steve88 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:11 am

Well, based on reviews of the Reptile places selling skinks, you may be right, as they all seemed to get roasted in their reviews. So I am emailing a few breeders, just afraid of the long wait and my daughter's impatience. I may try a reptile show, as sometimes those have decent breeders, or so I have heard.
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Re: Differences Between Types of Blue Tongues

Postby splashy07 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:35 am

First of all. ditto tcopitho.
And next, very few 'breeders' sell at reptile shows. Most are selling imports or old stock
no longer needed. Anything Gigas (Indonesian) is 99 percent sure to be an import. Australia has not exported since the mid 70s, so your Northerns are sure to be cbb, although rare at reptile shows and when found are quite a bit more expensive than purchasing from a breeder on here. The Long Island Expo is coming up Oct. 22nd, and New York Metro (White Plains) Sept. 10. If you can attend either, you may visit Cutting Edge Herp. and talk to my dear friend Vin Russo, or visit his site and see what's available now, if any. Probably not much available now, I have already started a waiting list for next year. I breed Northerns, but not listed on this site as a breeder because I do not ship. That's another story. Good luck, hope you find a nice pet!
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Re: Differences Between Types of Blue Tongues

Postby Steve88 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:12 am

Thanks splashy....

I'd have a hard time asking my daughter to wait until next year....I may have to take a chance on a captive bred but not from a breeder and see what happens......
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Re: Differences Between Types of Blue Tongues

Postby splashy07 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:59 am

Best of luck to you, and to avoid heartbreak later I'd suggest your first stop after you bring home your new pet would be to an exotic vet, if not purchased from a breeder who can provide documentation and give you lineage information, who the parents came from, etc. At one time back in the day, all reptiles were imported and the term 'captive bred' had not even been coined yet in regard to herps. Many have thrived in good care and made excellent pets. If not for imports at one time or another, there would be no such thing as exotic reptiles in this country. Wouldn't it be cool if they had an ancestry.com for reptiles????
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Re: Differences Between Types of Blue Tongues

Postby aaronhouts » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:25 pm

splashy07 wrote:Wouldn't it be cool if they had an ancestry.com for reptiles????

The corn snake people have actually done this. There's a "corn snake registry" used to document parents, lineage, breeding etc..
for more fun BTS pics and videos follow us on Instagram @susanhouts
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Re: Differences Between Types of Blue Tongues

Postby Steve88 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:42 pm

I didn't want to wait on a waiting list until next year, so I ended up buying a Merauke captive bred on Kingsnake.com that was born in March of 2017. The person (Joe Switlakski) has been quite responsive. Cost me about $250 including shipping. It was the last one left from the batch. There are Irian Jaya CB at another vendor but their reviews kind of scare me and there doesn't seem to be a phone number, which I don't like. My vet does work with lizards so since it could be the baby of a wild caught skink (I am not sure), do I need to take it to a vet after I first get it and what tests need to be done? Thanks for your help in advance.
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Re: Differences Between Types of Blue Tongues

Postby tcopitho » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:11 am

Steve88 wrote:I didn't want to wait on a waiting list until next year, so I ended up buying a Merauke captive bred on Kingsnake.com that was born in March of 2017. The person (Joe Switlakski) has been quite responsive. Cost me about $250 including shipping. It was the last one left from the batch. There are Irian Jaya CB at another vendor but their reviews kind of scare me and there doesn't seem to be a phone number, which I don't like. My vet does work with lizards so since it could be the baby of a wild caught skink (I am not sure), do I need to take it to a vet after I first get it and what tests need to be done? Thanks for your help in advance.


Congrats on the new bluey! I look forward to seeing some pictures.

Yes, you will want to take it to a vet and have them do a fecal float to check for parasites. This will require some fecal matter, so if you can bag some and take it with you to the vet, its probably a big help to the vet. One other thing to look out for is snake mites, if your seller deals in a lot of reptiles there is always a chance your baby could come with them. Since you have no other reptiles no action is required, such as quarantine, but be mindful and keep a close eye on it for a while. Do NOT add whatever substrate the baby comes with to its tank, as a precaution.

Since you've gotten a Merauke, be mindful of humidity to keep it healthy and happy. Make sure to use a humidity retaining substrate like coco husk, or orchid bark. An easy way to provide humidity with little effort is to provide a Humidity Hide, which is as simple as a plastic container with a hole cut in it, filled with damp sphagnum moss. There are lots of good topics here on the subject of Humidity.

Again, congrats to you and your daughter.
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Re: Differences Between Types of Blue Tongues

Postby TimMih » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:41 pm

Steve88 wrote:I didn't want to wait on a waiting list until next year, so I ended up buying a Merauke captive bred on Kingsnake.com that was born in March of 2017. The person (Joe Switlakski) has been quite responsive. Cost me about $250 including shipping. It was the last one left from the batch. There are Irian Jaya CB at another vendor but their reviews kind of scare me and there doesn't seem to be a phone number, which I don't like. My vet does work with lizards so since it could be the baby of a wild caught skink (I am not sure), do I need to take it to a vet after I first get it and what tests need to be done? Thanks for your help in advance.



Hey, I have also got a Merauke from Joe that was born in March of this year as well! How has yours been holding up/acclimating? I got mine about two weeks ago and he is still a very grumpy little guy lol. He watches me very carefully every time I talk or move but hisses or lunges whenever I come close. Most of the time though he just stays under his mulch and won't come out except to eat and go back under. He seems extremely healthy though with no visible signs of illness, bad shed, or other issues. Maybe its just since he's six months old, it'll take longer than two weeks for him to acclimate to me and a new place. I hope you like yours as much as I like mine, he's a blast to watch and LOVES his bananas!

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