The New Guinea Blue Tongued Skink is up to 20 inches long, with a bulky body and short, strong legs. Coloration is basically golden to grayish-brown with darker brown crossbands continued onto the tail. The sides are covered with a broad, irregular blackish brown band that extends over the legs, and is occasionally interrupted by weak extensions of the golden-brown back color onto the sides. The belly is pale with many dusky spots at the edges of the scales. There may be a dark stripe behind the eye. Males are a bit heavier and duller-appearing than females, and with somewhat shorter tails. The eyes are reddish-brown to bright red, variable with the season and the mood. The head is large, conical and flattened. The tongue, as the name implies, is blue.