Blue Tongue Lizard – a Love Story

Blue Tongue Lizards mate for life.
A pair lives, or rather lived, in our front garden.

Blue Tongue Lizards are good neighbours. They eat mice and other small vermin. It’s rather flattering that a pair should adopt us as their landlords.

They are called blue-tongue lizards because they have bright blue tongues. It’s quite startling to see this surprisingly large, sky-blue tongue suddenly poke out from an otherwise nondescript-looking lizard.

It’s a warning to other creature not to mess with it. Not that it’s particularly dangerous. Only about nine inches long, you still wouldn’t want a bite from it. Apart from giving a you a nasty nip, you might get an infected wound because of what they might have been munching earlier.

I’ve never know anyone to be bitten. They worst thing they seem to do, if provoked, is to open their mouths wide and give a bit of a hiss while showing you their amazing tongue.

Usually they hide in dark corners, under logs or inside pipes. Occasionally you’ll notice one warming itself in a sunny spot. We quite like them.

A few days ago, one of our pair met its fate in the road just outside our house. I saw its poor squashed body near the entrance to our drive.

Its partner has since been acting very strangely. He ( I think it was the male) hangs around in the open near where his mate died. Sometimes we see him on the grass nature strip by the footpath, occasionally on the footpath itself. Mostly though he lies in the gutter near where his mate’s body lay until the street sweeper collected it.

Poor lizard, pining for his lost mate. He has had a few narrow escapes. Local dogs seem to have missed him. When the street sweeper came past with its steel brushes scooping everything out of the gutter, he was lying under Tracy’s car. So the sweeper swung out to go round it and missed him completely. Another time, he was right up under the back wheel of my car and I noticed him just in time and was able to back out carefully instead of just driving off over him.

He disappeared yesterday when we had a sudden downpour. But I saw him afterwards, his nose just sticking out of the stormwater pipe that discharges into the gutter. A couple of hours ago he was in the middle of the footpath just outside our front gate.

He doesn’t look well. I think he might be dieing.

I think he is just wasting away while searching for his lost partner. He is in the open nearly all the time near where she died and where he can still smell her. Usually they hide.

I’ve put a piece of drain pipe nearby as a hidey-hole for him. But I think that one day soon he will just disappear.

Poor lonely lizard.

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