Text Written by James Wilson
Dr. Shea has also described this island form as a distinct subspecies. The
name is apparently an old name that he has resurrected. Specimens from Aru are
reported to possess three black nape (back of the neck) stripes similar to those seen on Tiliqua
This skink is usually more colorful than the other gigas
subspecies often displaying orange-brown coloration, occasionally with shades of
green or yellow laced into its often modelled pattern. Its range is limited to
the Kei and possibly the Aru Islands. In the past, the Kei blue-tongue was
rarely (if ever) seen in the U.S. pet trade, and very little is known about it.
It is just now starting to make its way into U.S. collections, and there is
currently concentrated efforts to breed and reproduce this interesting skink in
captivity. Its personality is reported to be less than friendly, being quite
similar to that of the wild collected T. s. chimaerea (Tanimbar) or the T. g. gigas forms
from Ambon or Ceram.
As its name implies, The Kei Island Blue-tongued Skink is found
on the Kei Islands in the Molucca Island Chain. It is also thought to
inhabit the Aru Islands located about 100 miles southeast of the Kei islands.