The blue-tongue lizard (Tiliqua scincoides) is a variety of large skink common throughout Australia. There are seven species of Tiliqua and all of them have long bodies, short limbs and short and robust tails. T. scincoides occurs in a wide range of habitats; its diet is omnivorous. When threatened, it opens the mouth and protrudes its characteristic large fleshy cobalt blue tongue. It is currently found as a popular species and also as a pet animal in the European countries. No data are available in literature about the morphology of the tongue of T. scincoides; therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate by means of scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy, the anatomy of the dorsal lingual surface. Our results demonstrate the presence of a tongue tip with a smooth surface without papillae. The foretongue was characterized by a stratified epithelium with foliate-like papillae and deep inter-papillar spaces in the middle part and cylindrical papillae with a flat surface in the lateral parts. All the posterior area of the tongue was characterized by more compacted papillae and the inter-papillar spaces were very narrow. Light microscopy showed the presence of melanin throughout the tongue. No taste buds were recognized on the lingual dorsal surface. Therefore, the papillae probably have a mechanical function showing an important role in the swallowing phase. The morphology of the tongue surface can be correlated to the diet and, different roles, as in other examined species, can be hypothesized for different areas.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.