The Eastern Blue Tongued Skink — (T. scincoides scincoides • Hunter, 1790)
(The "scincoides" species is frequently referred to as the common blue tongued skink)
Eastern blue tongues are often mistaken for the Irian Jaya as they're coloring and striping are very similar. Color patterns vary so much these days that it's difficult to say that one has a more specific coloring over the other, but there are a few known tricks if you don't have a trained eye. (1) Easterns almost always have thin parallel stripes running lengthwise, (2) Easterns almost always lack splotching and patterning on the anterior legs, and (3) they have very long, narrow and aerodynamic heads, and usually have the dark temporal streak (Australian species only). Their bands also sometimes seem to form a point directing toward their head on each stripe (see 7th picture). This species is extremely common in Australia hence its nickname (the common blue tongued skink), but has recently become more difficult to find in the United States. Note: Finding an Eastern with dark temporal streaks in the United States is extremely rare. It's a common trait in wild specimens in Australia, but the US specimens seem to lack this feature completely. Some folks speculate that the loss of eye bands stem from too much inbreeding, hybridizing, or both. Others speculate that the few Easterns that have been brought into the country over the years never displayed eye bands to begin with—there are Eastern forms in Australia which lack the eye bands completely. Any way you look at it, if you ever do come across an Eastern with eye bands, by all means, don't let it go. The last recorded Eastern in the United States with dark temporal streaks was purchased by Andrew Seike in 2000—tragically, the animal died in a fire several months later.
You will see several examples of animals with and without eye bands below.
• Clean anterior legs
• Temporal streaks (usually)
• Narrow head
• Thin lateral lines running vertically
• Thick horizontal stripes often form "arrows" pointing toward the head—see picture 7 and 15
• Short fat tail
• Brown splotches on each side of belly
• Extensive Reading Thanks to James Wilson
• The Eastern Blue Tongue's Range
• Color Variations in the Eastern
• See some great photographs of Morgan's Eastern
Photo Courtesy of Peter Robertson © Museum Victoria
Click here for more pictures of "Jubby"!
Click to enlarge above and below pictures