Reptiles are like coffee! You either like it or not. Fortunately, there’s plenty of both in Australia.
While most foreign tourist often freeze when they see these cold-blooded ground dwellers, I am rather intrigued by them. They play an important role in any ecosystem.
‘Bluey’ is what Australians charmingly call a Bluetongue Lizard.
Their striking blue tongue looks surreal and acts as a warning signal. It is the only defense system these reptiles have.
No wonder they move very cautiously and prefer to stay undetected in bush scrubs. They are at the bottom of the food chain. Larger lizards, snakes, and birds of prey being their biggest natural enemy.
Blue Tongue lizards are in the skink reptile family. Skinks have relatively short legs in comparison to their body length, they can’t outrun much faster predators. Speed is definitely not on their side. Instead, they move rather careful through the underground, keeping a low profile.
Their stripy patterns keeping them well camouflaged.
It isn’t uncommon for reptiles to make suburbia their home and territory. And this Bluey does that at our home in Coffs Harbour. Like most reptiles, Blueys are more active during the summer months.
She crawls out of her burrow underneath a concrete block near the entrance on a regular basis and keeps very still.
It’s only when she moves through the undergrowth, that we can hear her or see grass or twigs moving.
She looks rather cute when she tries to stay undetected when she has been spotted. But we have a few tricks up our sleeves to tease her into the open grassland.
Bluey is a ground-foraging omnivore, feeding on a wide variety of insects, gastropods, flowers, fruits, and berries. This keeps the cockroach population at bay. Bananas are by far his favourite fruit, particularly when they are overripe.
A bit curious and doubtful at starters, she just can’t resist the banana smell.
It could be a fatal mistake in moving to open grass.
A thought that needs consideration.
The blue tongue picks up the scent from afar as Bluey decides to follow the fruity scent.
First the banana, yummo .
It doesn’t take long for her to chew it up.
Is there any more? Yes there is! She likes berries as well.
Making a bit off a mess with boysenberries, they are more than a mouthful.
She is not wasting any off this delicious fruit. This was the reaction I hoped for and gave me a perfect photo opportunity, knowing Bluey wouldn’t just swallow the whole berry in one. Too cute. The contrast in colors adds to the photo aspect.
Licking up all the juices from her plate as well.
Blueberries are just as tasty and swallowed in one.
Bluey does like fresh fish too, who would have thought. Tuna seems to be more in favour than mackerel, a real gourmet foodie. We only had one photo shoot with Bluey as we didn’t want to take any further risks to her health. I believe our house guest is female. Her body is fairly wide as if she is about to hatch her offspring. I hope she does, that would be just awesome. That is just my guess though. Bluey enjoys a stroll through the house on hot days too.
She scared the jeepers out of me a few times when I spotted a glimpse off her out of the corner of my eye, rushing towards the couch. Phew, that fat body with small legs could easily be mistaken for a snake. They live in Australian suburbia too.
I really hope that Bluey will claim her territory here for years to come. It would benefit humans as well as Bluey.