Mating Aggressive Blue Tongues

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As many Skink keepers will testify….. Housing them in pairs, groups & mating trials can cause a real head-ache. Aggression can lead to stress, injury, loss of limbs & even death. And as someone who is very fussy about the appearance & well-being of my Skinks whatever I can do to successfully house & breed my animals with the maximum consideration to well-being I will actively pursue.

Mating is a potentially hazardous time with males displaying a single minded approach to toward their amorous intentions & if another male is in the way they will fight resulting in injury & sometimes death. This behaviour in captivity can be easily overcome with a simple remedy….. DO NOT house males together…. Males that have happily lived together all year can become aggressive at mating time & so it is strongly recommended that they are kept separate. Of course there are instances that other keepers will quote to the contrary but I say this….. Of the 60 sub-adult & adult Blueys that I have there zero animals with either a missing digit or tail & is something which I wish to maintain.

So I hear you think that provided males are kept apart there will be zero problems right ???? well sorry wrong !!!! Females in the wild cover a territory which by in large they remain resident to their entire lives & hence can be quite defensive towards intruders either male or female. Males incidentally may cover a few territories in their search for a mate (not unlike humans you may think ha !!!). So in captivity females housed together can be defensive of the best hides & bask spots etc, or maybe half the enclosure or in extreme cases will not allow any potential cage mates entry at all. Again I here you say simple…. house them separately right ?? sure if breeding is not your goal but if breeding is your goal at mating time when introductions are necessary there may be problems.

I have a Hyper Melanistic Blue Tongue & a Hypo Northern Blue Tongue which both display this trait & are housed individually. If another animal is introduced… male or female they will literally fight with it until the death I believe (I literally have to pull any other animal out after a minute as a crocodile grip & roll ensues upon entry !!!). So to successfully mate these animals a remedy is required & is described in pictures below;

By simply cutting a length of strong tape & taping the female Blueys mouth closed & cut thin enough to avoid blocking airways so as to minimise any stress on the animal…….
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[/col_1_2] [divider] The male then once introduced can get on with the intended job without fear of losing a limb !!! Another tip in this instance is if you have multiple females is to introduce him into one of those first to check his mating desire & the splitting them just as he is about to try to mate & then introduce him to the taped female. This will result in a more amorous male & a female that has to be taped as fewer times as possible & for the shortest time possible. In the photographed example the whole introduction was no longer than 7-8 minutes.

Hopefully this tip helps the aspiring breeders with those potentially troublesome animals !!!!!!

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