Kei Blue-tongued Skink (Shea, 2000)
Tiliqua gigas keyensis

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 scincoides.

Description

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.

Distribution

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.