Thursday, 28 January 2016

He’s Back!
This colourful Tonguey was a larger specimen of 35 to 40cm.

Yes, he’s back! 

Another surprise visit… and I almost stepped on him. There he was, warming himself in the stream of hot air coming from the air-conditioning unit, right outside our side door. As I bowled outside to empty the vegetable waste into the compost bin, he simply ambled out of my way, walking through and over our potted chilli and banana plants. Was he concerned? A little… but no reason to flee. I even had time to do my chore and return to the house to fetch the camera. Blue tongues lizards are very comfortable with human company…

Today’s meeting seems to indicate that we have a colony of these adorable reptiles in our block. This ‘Tonguey’, our pet name for Blue Tongues, was beautifully coloured with a fawn background highlighted with black and ochre banding, as opposed to our smaller October guest of grey with black banding.

Our smaller October guest

Over recent months, I have wondered about a phenomenon which has occurred within our garden. For two years, we had a major problem with snails: literally hundreds of them along our fence lines, invading the gardens after rain. These days, I rarely spot one and our soft vegetable seedlings go largely unharmed. Are our resident Blue Tongues doing us a wonderful service in consuming all our snails?

Our ‘hutan’ or ‘jungle’, with its luxuriant plant growth and many hiding places, such as rocks and low-growing ‘cover’ plants, provides an ideal home for Blue Tongue lizards. Furthermore, the dense planting also attracts a ready supply of insect and snail ‘bush-tucker’ for our resident friends.

By the way, I use the words ‘he’ and ‘him’ advisedly: it is very difficult to tell apart the male and female Blue Tongues.

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