Are Skinks Dangerous? {Can They Hurt You? Aggressive? Poisonous?}

I find skinks fascinating, but I understand why some of my friends are fearful. Are skinks dangerous?

Do they contain poison? Will they lash out in aggression? Are there any warning signs?

I hope some of my friends and skink enthusiasts get a chance to finally find out some important facts about these lizards today in this article.

Are Skinks Dangerous?

No. Skinks are not harmful at all since they are:

  • non-venomous
  • non-poisonous

Skinks still have teeth and will attack if threatened. They are not often aggressive, so their bites will only be brief and won’t do any harm.

Skinks are low-risk pets even though they are not thought to be toxic or dangerous. If handled carefully, the majority of skink species pose no risk to people.

Can Skinks Hurt You?

Not much. Although the majority of skinks are little and have strong bites, they are not at all hazardous.

The worst that might happen is that:

  • you might get bitten
  • if they become frightened, they may hide or attack
  • their non-venomous skin secretions may temporarily burn your skin

Skinks are in fact fairly sociable compared to many lizards. Treat them gently and with care, you may take pleasure in their company and learn more about them.

As insectivores, skinks mostly consume spiders and tiny insects. They are not interested in hurting you and will not benefit from it at all.

Are Skinks Aggressive?

No. Skinks are not aggressive. Their bites may be painful due to their strong jaws and teeth. The most common skinks among reptile keepers are probably blue tongue skinks (genus Tiliqua) because they are:

  • reasonably sized (max. 22 inches)
  • normally calm
  • simple to take care of

Despite being mostly peaceful, blue-tongued skinks have been known to:

  • bite
  • hiss
  • display their tongues when threatened

Although skinks are mostly laid-back animals, they can occasionally become hostile. When they act aggressively, it’s typically because of something that has triggered them.

Skink Aggression Warning Signs

The following are among the most typical aggressive behaviors in skinks:

1. Hissing

The most typical behavior of skinks is hissing. They will begin to hiss if they feel threatened. The skink is signaling for people to keep away.

2. Flattening their body

Skinks frequently exhibit this trait as well. To look longer and more menacing, they may flatten their bodies.

3. Opening their mouth widely

Skinks do this when they feel threatened. They’ll hiss after opening their mouth.

4. Self-Puffing

Self-Puffing will make someone look larger. When a predator is attempting to consume them, this is a smart tactic.

5. Tongue Flicking

Some species, including the Blue-Tongued Skink, will flick out their tongues. This is a warning to keep away because they don’t appear to be joyful.

Blue-Tongued Skinks in particular might need extra attention. Read this article if you wish to find out more.

YouTube video

Are Skinks Poisonous?

No. Skinks are not toxic, and they do not contain any venom that may make people sick or develop allergies.

In the animal realm, most poisonous ones are identified by their bright colors such as:

  • venomous insects
  • amphibians
  • reptiles

Because all skink species have brilliant skin, many people mistakenly believe they are poisonous. But contrary to common assumption, caring for and handling skinks correctly is quite safe.

How To Handle A New Skink

When you introduce a skink into your house, you will need to:

1. Let it some time to adjust to its new environment before you can handle it.

It’s possible that the skink will show indications of hostility for a few days or perhaps a few weeks.

2. Create an atmosphere that mimics the one in which they normally live. 

They have a tendency to become quite calm. As a direct consequence of this, the skinks do not behave aggressively.

3. Try to avoid touching them for at least a week.

Skinks are the type of animals that like to live and be by themselves because of their solitary nature.

While the skink is getting used to its new surroundings, you should give it space to acclimatize by leaving it in its cage by itself for approximately a week.

Are Skinks A Health Risk?

The presence of skinks does not pose any danger to human health. It is completely safe and risk-free to handle skinks because they are not poisonous in any way.

Skinks have a reputation for being:

  • calm
  • submissive

This makes them an excellent choice as pets for anyone who enjoy keeping reptiles. Because skinks can harbor germs, it is imperative that you:

  • always wash your hands after handling.
  • keep the habitat of the skink clean and well-maintained.

You will help contribute to the skinks’ continued good health. It is crucial that you take your skink to the veterinarian as soon as possible if you see any symptoms of disease.

Why People Think  Blue-Tongued Skinks Are Poisonous

Due to the fact that certain skinks have a brilliant blue tail and a blue tongue, there is a common misconception that skinks are toxic.

As it is common for deadly creatures to have vivid coloring, some people wrongly believe that the skink falls into this category.

There is not a single species of skink anywhere in the globe that contains toxins.

Are Skinks Dangerous To Dogs?

No. Accidental ingestion of skinks by domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, does not result in poisoning. Dogs, being as inquisitive and silly as they are, may occasionally poke and consume skinks.

Despite the fact that skinks are not often toxic and do not cause any long-term damage, they can still be dirty if found in the wild.

In unusual circumstances, skinks may be carriers of the Salmonella bacterium, and consumption of a skink may result in Salmonella poisoning.

Are Skinks Poisonous To Cats?

No. Cats, on the other hand, have a natural instinct to hunt, and they may occasionally feel the need to hunt and kill skinks.

Cats, much like dogs, will not acquire any long-term illnesses as a result of ingesting a skink.

Skinks face threats from other animals as well. Skinks have several methods of self-defense, including:

  • biting with their teeth
  • ripping off their tails to deceive potential predators
  • shedding their skin

Skinks are not harmful to canines and felines, but in the event that they feel threatened, they may scratch or bite in order to defend themselves.

Skinks, much like other types of lizards, consume a wide variety of insects, including grasshoppers, crickets, and beetles.

Skink Bite Symptoms

A bite from a skink will most likely result in bruises, and if the nails are involved, there is a possibility that they will be damaged.

  1. After touching your skink, you should wash your hands well. A bite should be treated the same way as any other injury. Especially if the skin is clearly damaged, it has to be cleansed as soon as possible.
  2. If there is any bruising, you might try putting some anti-bruising or anti-scar cream on it.

The grip is one of the most excruciating aspects of the bite delivered by a Blue Tongue Skink! A skink will bite and then hang on to its prey.

It’s possible that a skink will roll over and over again. It won’t last very long, but it will be long enough to make you feel some discomfort and anxiety.

Which Species of Skinks Are the Most Dangerous?

There are many different species of skinks. No species is the most dangerous. Allow me to explain.

  • There are some that are rather petite, while others are quite huge.
  • The majority of them average about 12 inches. Smaller skinks often measure 3 inches in length.
  • Larger breeds have a length of 14-22 inches. A larger skink’s bite might cause a little more harm and perhaps tear the skin.
  • The majority of smaller skinks reach a length of around 3 inches at the maximum. A bite from them typically feels like something being nipped on the finger.

The larger the skink, the more brazen it is and the more likely it is to bite. On the other hand, smaller skinks have a greater propensity to avoid danger whenever it can be helped.

The vast majority of skink breeds are not very aggressive and will make every effort to stay out of harm’s way.

The prehensile-tailed skink (Corucia zebrata), which is the biggest species, may grow to a maximum length of around 76 centimeters (30 inches), while the majority of species are shorter than 20 centimeters (8 inches).

Are Skinks Poisonous to Touch?

No. As a result of their lack of venom and lack of pain, skink bites pose no threat to human health.

Skinks are not deadly or venomous, despite the fact that their skin has a superficial similarity to that of snakes.

Their bites are also not very severe or harmful. As a result, they do not constitute a threat to human beings in any way.


Among the family of lizards, skinks are the tiniest and most diminutive members. With lengths often ranging from three to five inches, they are extremely timid and swift animals who would rather flee than bite you.

They are most frequently discovered in rocky regions that include an abundance of cracks and crevices in which to conceal themselves.

They are difficult to catch and have the ability to shed a portion of their tail in order to escape captivity. Be gentle and recognize the warning sings we mentioned today. Enjoy and see you soon for another article on skinks.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.