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Tiliqua scincoides (WHITE, 1790)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Egerniinae (Tiliquini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesTiliqua scincoides scincoides (WHITE 1790)
Tiliqua scincoides intermedia MITCHELL 1955
Tiliqua scincoides chimaerea SHEA 2000 
Common NamesE: Common Bluetongue, Eastern Bluetongue, Northern Bluetongue, Eastern Blue-Tongued Lizard 
SynonymLacerta scincoides WHITE 1790: 242
Lacerta scincoides — SHAW & NODDER 1794: plate 179
Scincus crotaphomelas LACÉPÈDE 1804: 209
Scincus tuberculatus MERREM 1820: 73
Tiliqua tuberculatus — GRAY 1825: 201
Tiliqua whitii GRAY 1831: 67 (non Scincus whitii LACÉPÈDE 1804)
Cyclodus boddaertii DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 752 (part.)
Tiliqua scincoides — SMITH 1937: 233
Tiliqua scincoides intermedia MITCHELL 1955
Tiliqua scincoides — COGGER 1983: 191
Tiliqua scincoides — COGGER 2000: 580
Tiliqua scincoides scincoides — NOËL 2009

Tiliqua scincoides intermedia MITCHELL 1955: 393
Tiliqua scincoides intermedia — GLAUERT 1960: 68
Tiliqua scincoides intermedia — BELL 2005
Tiliqua scincoides intermedia — REISINGER 2014

Tiliqua scincoides chimaerea SHEA 2000
Tiliqua scincoides chimaerea — KUPERUS & ZWARTEPOORTE 2007 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, SE South Australia, Victoria, NW Western Australia)

scincoides: S/E Australia

intermedia: N Australia

chimaerea: Indonesia (Maluku Province: Tanimbar, Babar Islands); Type locality: Samlaki, Tanimbar Islands.

Type locality: Australia [Lacerta scincoides, Scincus tuberculatus]  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.8.21.94, second syntype presumed lost.
Syntypes: MNHP 3025, for extralimital syntype, Java) see Guibé (1954) [Cyclodus boddaertii].
Holotype: SAMA R3095, from Yirrkala (as Yirrkalla), N. T. [intermedia]
Holotype: RMNH 5198a (the only one of five specimens under that number with a complete tail), paratypes: RMNH.RENA.7229 [chimaerea] 
CommentSynonymy after COGGER 1983. Merrem's original description is ambiguous in that the name tuberculatus could be interpreted as a substitute name for Lacerta scincoides White, 1790 (fide COGGER 1983).

Distribution: see Shea 2000: 158 for maps of all 3 subspecies.

Type species: Lacerta scincoides WHITE 1790: 242 (SHAW 1790 fide SHEA 1990: 509) is the type species of the genus Tiliqua GRAY 1825: 201.

Morphology: Greer 1986 investigated the relative length of the anterior medial groove of the frontal bone in species of Egernia and Tiliqua as as a diagnostic character for being a member of Lygosominae vs. Scincinae. 
EtymologyPresumably named after the Latin Scincus (a north African skink, one of the first to be given a binomial name) plus the suffix -oides (similarity). This was one of the first skink species to be described, at a time when most skinks were compared to Linnaeus' Lacerta scincus. (G. Shea, pers. comm., 9 Feb 2024) 
  • Bartholomew, G.A., V.A. Tucker & A.K. Lee 1965. Oxygen Consumption, Thermal Conductance, and Heart Rate in the Australian Skink Tiliqua scincoides Copeia 1965 (2): 169-173. - get paper here
  • Bauer, A.M. 1999. Notes on John White's Journal of a Voyage to new South Wales (1790), a Classic of Australian Herpetology. International Society for the History and Bibliography of Herpetology 1 (1): 16-19 - get paper here
  • Bell, J.A. 2005. Tiliqua scincoides intermedia. Reptilia (GB) (41): 27-31 - get paper here
  • Blackburn, D.G. 1993. STANDARDIZED CRITERIA FOR THE RECOGNITION OF REPRODUCTIVE MODES IN SQUAMATE REPTILES. Herpetologica 49 (1): 118-132 - get paper here
  • Bonetti, Mathilde 2002. 100 Sauri. Mondadori (Milano), 192 pp. - get paper here
  • Brauer, P. 1980. Tiliqua scincoides - HALTUNG UND ZUCHT DES BLAUZUNGENSKINKS. Sauria 2 (2): 5-12 - get paper here
  • Breeden, Stanley 1988. The first Australians. National Geographic 173(2): 266-289
  • Broom, R. 1898. On the lizards of the Chillagoe District, N Queensland. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 22: 639-645 [1897] - get paper here
  • Carpenter, C.C. & J.B. Murphy 1978. Tongue Display by the Common Bluetongue (Tiliqua scincoides) (Reptilia, Lacertilia, Scincidae) Journal of Herpetology 12 (3): 428-429. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Cooper, W.E., Jr. 2000. Food Chemical Discriminations by the Omnivorous Scincid Lizards Tiliqua scincoides and Tiliqua rugosa Herpetologica 56 (4): 480-488. - get paper here
  • Couper, P., Covacevich, J., Amey, A. & Baker, A. 2006. The genera of skinks (Family Scincidae) of Australia and its island territories: diversity, distribution and identification. in: Merrick, J.R., Archer, M., Hickey, G.M. & Lee, M.S.Y. (eds.). Evolution and Zoogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Australian Scientific Publishing, Sydney, pp. 367-384
  • Drane, C.R. & G.J.W. Webb 1980. Functional Morphology of the Dermal Vascular System of the Australian Lizard Tiliqua scincoides Herpetologica 36 (1): 60-66. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1839. Erpétologie Générale on Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Vol. 5. Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, 871 pp. - get paper here
  • Estes, Richard and Ernest E. Williams 1984. Ontogenetic Variation in the Molariform Teeth of Lizards. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 4 (1): 96-107 - get paper here
  • Farquhar, Jules Edward 2021. Melanism in the eastern blue-tongued lizard Tiliqua scincoides (Squamata: Scincidae) from south-eastern Australia. Herpetology Notes 14: 251-255
  • Frank, W. 1969. Regenerationsvermögen beim Blauzungenskink (Tiliqua scincoides). Salamandra 5 (1-2): 15-17 - get paper here
  • Frynta, D., Gunalen, D., & Somerová, B. 2021. Genetic variation of blue-tongue skinks of the genus Tiliqua (Squamata: Scincidae) from New Guinea and Wallacea. Biologia, 1-11 - get paper here
  • Glauert, L. 1960. Herpetological miscellanea. XII. The family Scincidae in Western Australia. Pt. 1. The genera Tiliqua, Trachysaurus and Egernia. Western Australian Naturalist 7 (3): 67-77 - get paper here
  • Graves, B.M. & M. Halpern 1991. Discrimination of self from conspecific chemical cues in Tiliqua scincoides (Sauria: Scincidae) Journal of Herpetology 25 (1): 125-126. - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1831. A synopsis of the species of Class Reptilia. In: Griffith, E & E. Pidgeon: The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organisation by the Baron Cuvier with additional descriptions of all the species hither named, and of many before noticed [V Whittaker, Treacher and Co., London: 481 + 110 pp. [1830] - get paper here
  • Gray, J.E. 1825. A synopsis of the genera of reptiles and Amphibia, with a description of some new species. Annals of Philosophy, 10:193—217 - get paper here
  • Greenbaum, E. 2000. Herpetofaunal observations in disparate habitats in south Sustralia, New South Wales, and queensland, Australia. Herpetological Bulletin (72): 6-16 - get paper here
  • Greer, A. E. 1986. Lygosomine (Scincidae) monophyly: a third, corroborating character and a reply to critics. Journal of Herpetology 20 (1): 123-126 - get paper here
  • Guibé, J. 1954. Catalogue des Types de Lézards du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle Naturelle. Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 119 pp.
  • Hancock, Linda Joanne; Thompson, Michael B 1997. Distributional limits of eastern blue-tongue lizards Tiliqua scincoides, blotched blue-tongue lizards T. nigrolutea and shingleback lizards T. rugosa (Gray) in New South Wales. Australian Zoologist 30 (3): 340-345 - get paper here
  • Hanley, K. & Hanley, S. 2003. Tiliqua scincoides, Common Blue-Tongued Skink. Reptilia (GB) (29): 39-42 - get paper here
  • Hitz,R. 2001. Neuigkeiten in der Gattung Tiliqua (Echte Blauzungenskinke). Elaphe 9 (2): 61-64
  • Hutchinson, M.N. 1979. The reptiles of Kinglake National Park. Victorian Naturalist 96: 124-134 - get paper here
  • Kay, G.M.; D. Michael; M. Crane; S. Okada; C. MacGregor; D. Florance; D. Trengove; L. McBurney; D. Blair; D.B. Lindenmayer. 2013. A list of reptiles and amphibians from Box Gum Grassy Woodlands in south-eastern Australia. Check List 9 (3):476-481 - get paper here
  • Koenig, J., R. Shine & G. Shea 2002. The Dangers of Life in the City: Patterns of Activity, Injury and Mortality in Suburban Lizards (Tiliqua scincoides) Journal of Herpetology 36 (1): 62-68. - get paper here
  • Kuperus, S. & Zwartepoorte, H.A. 2007. Ervaringen met het houden en kweken van de Tanimbar-Blauwtongskink Tiliqua scincoides chimaerea. Lacerta 65 (2): 48-58 - get paper here
  • LaCépède, B. G. E. L. 1804. Mémoire sur plusieurs animaux de la Nouvelle- Hollande dont la description n’a pas encore été publiée. Annales du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 4:184-211 - get paper here
  • Lucas, A. H. S. & Frost, C. 1894. The lizards indigenous to Victoria. Proc. R. Soc. Vict. (ns) 6: 24-92 - get paper here
  • Merrem, B. 1820. Versuch eines Systems der Amphibien I (Tentamen Systematis Amphibiorum). J. C. Kriegeri, Marburg, 191 pp. - get paper here
  • Michael, D.R.; D.B. Lindenmayer; M. Crane; C. MacGregor; R. Montague-Drake; L. McBurney. 2011. Reptilia, Murray catchment, New South Wales, southeastern Australia. Check List 7 (1):25-29 - get paper here
  • Mitchell, F. J. 1950. The scincid genera Egernia and Tiliqua (Lacertilia). Rec. South Austral. Mus. 9: 275-308 - get paper here
  • Mo, Matthew 2015. Herpetofaunal community of the constructed Lime Kiln Bay Wetland, south Sydney, New South Wales. Victorian Naturalist 132 (3): 64-72 - get paper here
  • Mo, Matthew 2020. Two instances of tail regeneration and one case of tail bifurcation in adult Eastern Blue-tongued Lizards (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides) in Australia. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 27 (3): 485-486 - get paper here
  • Murphy, Michael J. 1994. Reptiles and amphibians of Seven Mile Beach National park, NSW. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 24 (2): 24-30
  • Murphy, Michael J. 2016. Survey of the reptiles and amphibians of Yarrigan National Park in the Pilliga forest of northern inland New South Wales. Australian Zoologist 38 (2): 147- - get paper here
  • Noël, V. 2009. Confusions et hybridations au sein du genre Tiliqua : Tiliqua scincoides (Hunter, 1790), Tiliqua gigas (Schneider, 1801) et Tiliqua sp. dit « Irian Jaya » (Sauria : Scincidae). [Confusions and hybridizations in the genus Tiliqua: Tiliqua scincoides ( Bull. Soc. Herp. France (132): 71-84 - get paper here
  • Peracca, M.G. 1895. SuI fatto di due distinte dentizioni nella Tiliqua scincoides White. Bollettino dei Musei di Zoologia ed Anatomia comparata della R. Universita di Torino, 10 (217): 1-3 - get paper here
  • Phillips, C., Roffey, J., Hall, E. and Johnson, R. 2016. Sex identification in the eastern blue-tongued lizard (Tiliqua scincoides White, ex Shaw, 1790) using morphometrics. Australian Veterinary Journal, 94: 256–259; doi: 10.1111/avj.12429 - get paper here
  • Phillips, J.A. 1986. Ontogeny of Metabolic Processes in Blue-Tongued Skinks, Tiliqua scincoides Herpetologica 42 (4): 405-412. - get paper here
  • Price-Rees, Samantha J. and Richard Shine 2011. A Backpack Method for Attaching GPS Transmitters to Bluetongue Lizards (Tiliqua, Scincidae). Herp. Cons. Biol. 6 (1) - get paper here
  • Price-Rees, Samantha J., Gregory P. Brown, and Richard Shine 2014. Activity Patterns and Movements of Free-Ranging Bluetongue Lizards (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia and Tiliqua multifasciata) in the Australian Wet-Dry Tropics. Journal of Herpetology Sep 2014, Vol. 48, No. 3: 298-305. - get paper here
  • Reisinger, M. 2014. Farbzucht beim Nördlichen Blauzungenskink, Tiliqua scincoides intermedia. Reptilia (Münster) 19 (109): 54-62
  • Shaw, George & Nodder, Frederick P. (Eds.) 1794. The Naturalist's Miscellany [...], Vol. V. London, Nodder & Co., plates 147-182, 158 unnumbered pages [published in monthly issues between between August 1, 1793, and July 1, 1794] - get paper here
  • Shea, G. M. 1993. The anatomist John Hunter (1728-1793), the Eastern Bluetongue Skink Tiliqua scincoides (Squamata: Scincidae) and the discovery of herbivory in skinks. Archives of Natural History 20 (3): 303 - get paper here
  • Shea, G.M. 2000. Der Sunda-Blauzungenskink Tiliqua scincoides chimaerea subsp. nov. – in: HAUSCHILD, A., R. HITZ, K. HENLE, G.M. SHEA & H. WERNING (Hrsg.): Blauzungenskinke. Beiträge zu Tiliqua und Cyclodomorphus; pp. 157-160. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 287 pp. - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1937. A review of the genus Lygosoma (Scincidae: Reptilia) and its allies. Records of the Indian Museum 39 (3): 213-234
  • Smith, T.L., K.V. Kardong & V.L. Bels 1999. Prey Capture in the Blue-tongued Skink, Tiliqua scincoides Journal of Herpetology 33 (3): 362-369. - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M.; L. A. Smith, and R. E. Johnstone 1999. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Revised Edition. Western Australian Museum
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Tschambers, B. 1949. Birth of the Australian blue-tongued lizard, Tiliqua scincoides (Shaw) Herpetologica 5 (6): 141-142. - get paper here
  • Turner, Grant 1996. Some litters of the eastern blue-tongued skink Tiliqua scincoides scincoides (Scincidae). Herpetofauna (Sydney) 26 (2): 39-47
  • Valentic, Robert A. 1995. Occurrence of Tiliqua scincoides (Hunter, 1790) on Magnetic Island, Queensland. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 25 (2): 56-57
  • White, J. 1790. Journal of a voyage to new South Wales, with sixty-five plates of non descript animals, birds, lizards, serpents, curious cones of trees and other natural productions. Debrett, London, 229 pp. - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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