Before owning any pet, it’s important to know how much it will cost. So, if you are thinking about getting a blue tongue skink for yourself, you probably want to know: how much does a blue tongue skink cost? Let’s find out now. In this article, we look at how much they cost for purchase, enclosure cost, food cost, and more. Let’s get started.
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How Much Does a Blue Tongue Skink Cost?
The exact cost of a blue tongue skink depends on many factors. For example, you might be able to find some blue tongue skinks for as low as $150, but other blue tongue skinks can cost as much as $5000. So, it can be difficult to estimate the exact price without looking at more specific factors.
Cost Based on Variety
Most people don’t realize that there are different types of blue tongue skinks. The type you buy will largely affect its price. The most affordable blue tongue skink is the Northern Blue Tongue Skink. They can range between $150 to $250. In contrast, rarer blue tongue skinks will cost you thousands. For example, Shingleback or Centralian Blue Tongue Skinks can cost between $1500 and $5000.
Of course, blue tongue skink variety isn’t the only factor that impacts its cost. Factors such as the blue tongue skink age, sex, store location, and health can all change the price too.
Do Blue Tongue Skinks Cost The Same All Over America?
As shocking as it may sound, your location within the United States can affect how expensive your blue tongue skink is. That’s because blue tongue skinks are not native to North America. As a result, you will either have to pay for it to be exported or pay high costs from a local breeder. Even with State breeders, you still may have to pay a lot for shipping.
Blue tongue skinks are native to Australia, Indonesia, and surrounding areas. Hawaii is technically the closest state to these native areas, but California and other West Coast states are close as well. People who live on the West Coast will likely be able to get cheaper prices on these lizards simply because it requires less shipping.
If you are buying a captive-bred lizard, your proximity to the breeding location will affect its price. Most likely, you will be able to find more options if you live close to a big city. People who live in rural areas will likely have to pay more simply because their options are more limited for purchasing a lizard in the first place.
Where Can You Buy a Blue Tongue Skink?
Because blue tongue skinks are not the most popular pets, they are more difficult to find for sale. Luckily, they aren’t impossible to find, so long as you know where to look from the beginning stages of your search. You should be able to find blue tongue skinks with ease online, but you might be able to find some in-store as well.
The easiest way to find a blue tongue skink for purchase is by looking online. Online, you can find different stores or individual people looking to sell these types of lizards. For example, online exotic pet shops will likely have many options to choose from. This is beneficial because it means you get the exact blue tongue skink you want.
Of course, you’ll have to pay a lot for shipping if you purchase a blue tongue skink online. You also want to make sure that you are making a legit and safe purchase. Most online pet shops are safe and reliable to purchase your pet on, though.
Whenever you look online, you might stumble upon individual breeders who sell blue tongue skinks. Most often, individual breeders are the safest, most reliable, and most ethical way to purchase this sort of animal. The breeders often care for the animals, which means they are happy and healthy. We recommend buying from a breeder near you if possible.
Occasionally, you might be able to find a blue tongue skink in store. If you live close to a large exotic pet store, your odds are best. However, regular pet stores, such as PetSmart, don’t offer these sorts of reptiles. So, you will have to look at specialty stores.
It’s important to be cautious when purchasing blue tongue skinks from in-store locations. Many commercial pet stores do not care about their pets, which results in unhealthy and depressed animals.
Every time you purchase one of these animals, you run the risk of getting one that may die soon. Additionally, you encourage the pet store to keep torturing and selling these animals for profit.
How Much Does a Blue Tongue Skink Set-up Cost?
The most expensive part of owning or getting a new blue tongue skink is the enclosure set-up. You should expect this enclosure to cost anywhere between $750 to $1000. It’s important to get every aspect of the enclosure from the beginning so that your skink has the proper environment the second it comes home.
If you are not able to afford these high set-up costs yet, we recommend saving up until you are. Then, by a blue tongue skink.
The first thing you need to get for your blue tongue skink is a sturdy and reliable vivarium. At the minimum, the vivarium should be 55 gallons. However, we recommend getting as large of an enclosure as you can because the blue tongue skink will certainly appreciate a larger-sized enclosure. You want the enclosure to have a mesh top, sturdy frame, and a lot of walking ground.
The exact price of the vivarium will depend on the features and where you buy it from. You should expect to pay between $250 and $350. Anything cheaper than $250 will likely be very cheap and inadequate. At the same time, anything more expensive than $350 is overkill.
Temperature Gradient and Light
The second thing to look for in your blue tongue skink’s enclosure is the temperature gradient. Blue tongue skinks are cold-blooded, which means they get their warmth from the temperature of the air. At the same time, they cool off using the air too.
The blue tongue skinks enclosure should provide a gradient so that the creature can cool off or warm up whenever it needs to. You want the temperature gradient to be between 75 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit. There should also be a basking area between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can use an under-tank heating unit with a heating lamp. These items will provide the proper temperature and create humidity for the blue tongue skink. Don’t use electrical heat rocks because these can be dangerous.
In addition to heat lamps, you will need traditional lights as well. You want daylight bulbs that are on 12 hours a day. These should be bright white lights for stimulating activity and appetite. Whenever it is nighttime, turn off the lights to simulate nighttime. Do not use any colored bulbs. Finally, add a UV light so that the blue tongue skink can produce vitamin D3.
You should expect to pay up to $100 for the temperature gradient and light items. This includes the individual bulbs, light fixtures, and heating elements.
With the proper lighting, heating, and water bowl, the enclosure should generate enough humidity for the lizard. The ideal humidity should be between 35% and 45%. We recommend getting a thermometer and hygrometer to monitor temperature and humidity levels and adjust as needed. It’s a good idea to get two of each so that there is a monitor on both sides of the enclosure.
Expect to pay between $5 and $20 for each individual thermometer and hygrometer. On the expensive end of the spectrum, you could end up paying $80 for two thermometers and two hygrometers, though that’s assuming you get the most expensive models (which is not required).
The substrate is the item you put at the bottom of the enclosure so as to make it more comfortable and absorb the skink’s waste. Aspen wood shavings, Cypress mulch, newspaper, and sugar cane mulch are great options. You should pay between $10 and $30 for the substrate. Keep in mind that you will have to purchase more substrate in the future as you clean out the tank.
You will want to put a few decorations inside the skink’s enclosure, but you don’t need to clutter it. Skinks prefer open spaces. That being said, it needs a large, shallow water bowl and two hides.
You can use boxes, cork bark, wood, or hollow rocks. Skinks also like long cylindrical hideouts, such as PVC pipes to crawl through. You shouldn’t have to pay more than $30 for these features.
How Much Does Blue Tongue Skinks Food Cost?
You’ll be happy to know that feeding your blue tongue skink isn’t as expensive as feeding other pets. You do not have to buy specialty food for blue tongue skinks.
Instead, they primarily eat human-grade vegetables and fruit, which can be more affordable than feeding a dog or cat. You will need to pay for some insects for protein, though, but this is a smaller portion of their diet.
Whenever your blue tongue skink is a baby, it will likely need to eat two or three times a day, six days a week. However, adults only need to be fed three times a week. A highball estimate for your blue tongue skink’s food cost is $50 a month. Once again, this is a highball estimate. You will likely spend closer to $30 a month.
What Is The Overall Cost of Owning a Blue Tongue Skink?
Owning a blue tongue skink is most expensive at first. You’ll probably spend over $1000 during the first month simply for the creature itself, its set-up, and basic necessities. So, you will need to save up a good amount of money before purchasing your blue tongue skink.
The good news is that your monthly budget is much lower. You should not have to spend more than $100 a month on your blue tongue skink. Most likely, you won’t spend more than $75 a month. This price includes their food, cleaning items, and substrate.
Do Adult Blue Tongue Skinks Cost More Than Babies?
Adult blue tongue skinks are more expensive than babies. For example, Northern Blue Tongue Skink babies are typically only $150, whereas the adults are around $250. The reason for this price difference is because adults require more care – the sellers took the time to take care of their hatchlings, food, and shedding. Hence, they want a higher price to compensate for their efforts.
Blue tongue skinks are a great pet, but you need to budget for them accordingly. Expect to pay around $1000 the first month. After that, blue tongue skinks are pretty affordable. You shouldn’t spend more than $100 a month for their food and overall care.
After searching into “How much does a blue tongue skink cost” and testing many different products, we have come up with our list of “Must Have” items for recommendations for both price, and durability for the best enclosure accessories.
Bathing Water Bowl – Click Here
Heat Mat – Click Here
Heat Lamp and Guard – Click Here
Reliable Thermometer – Click Here
Vivarium/Enclosure – Click Here
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