Australia’s Monarto Zoo announced what it says is the world’s first successful captive breeding of 14 pygmy blue-tongue lizards, and these little guys have got to be the cutest lizards we’ve seen in a long while.
Their numbers have just risen thanks to the captive breeding program at the zoo, which opened its breeding facility just 18 months ago. The tiny skinks, which by the way, have pink tongues and not blue tongues, are currently just 4 inches in length and are being fed crickets three to four times a week.
“Over the last few weeks, the little lizards have become more active, venturing out of their burrows where they have been seen eating crickets,” Zoos SA conservation programs manager Phil Ainsley told ABC News Australia. “The pygmy blue-tongue is one of the rarest reptiles in the country and we need to do everything we can to ensure the survival of this species.”
Ina YouTube video posted by the zoo Tuesday, the lizards can be seen being hand fed crickets by the zoo staff. They pop out of their burrows, gobble up the crickets, and then as fast as they popped out, they disappear back underground again.
The pygmy blue-tongue lizards are currently known to exist between Kapunda and Peterborough in South Australia. They live in unused spider burrows. They are the smallest lizard in the blue-tongue family and grow to about 7 inches in length. The pygmy blue-tongue lizard’s bigger cousin, the blue-tongue skink, is a super popular pet among reptile keepers.