Legless Lizards
Family Pygopodidae

Legless lizards (Pygopodidae) are a large family of snake-like lizards that are considered by some to be the ecological equivelants of the solid-toothed, harmless snakes, which are poorly represented in Oz but largest family elsewhere. Some can attain almost 60 cm in length and the Common Scaly-foot has been recorded over 75 cm in length. As with all Oz lizards they are nonvenomous.

Legless lizards have evolved an elongate, limbless form more recently than snakes, therefore all retain some primitive characteristics. A combination of 2 of the following confirms it is a lizard:

1 - Broad, fleshy tongue
2 - Ear-opening behind eye

3 - Two or more rows of belly scales as per (a) above. (b) is venomous land snake

4 - Tail as long as to much longer than body
5 - If uniform body pattern present, then longitudinal (stripes versus crossbands in Oz snakes.

Only a small sample of species are included here.

Western Granite Worm Lizard (Aprasia pulchella) Stirling Range, WA
All worm lizards burrow, although this one is most often found under rocks in Darling Range.

Southwest Yellow-throuted Worm Lizard (Aprasia repens) Mundaring, WA.
A common burrowing legless lizard dug up in gardens in the Perth area.

Atomic Worm Lizard (Aprasia rostrata) Montebello Archipelago, WA
A name coined after it was found to have survived the atomic tests on a couple of Montebello islands.

Javelin Lizard (Aclys concinna), although recently moved to Delma, from near Marchagee, WA.

Sharp-snouted Snake Lizard (Lialis burtonis)) from Laverton, WA showing two colour morphs of this highly varied species.

Fraser's Delma (Delma fraseri)) from Scaddan, WA. This adult is quite bland compared to the brightly coloured juveniles.

Common Scaly-foot (Pygopus lepidopodus) from Lesueur National Park, WA showing little body pattern compared to following individual.

Common Scaly-foot (Pygopus lepidopodus) from Jurien Bay, WA. A brightly marked individual compared to previous example.

Hooded Scaly-foot (Pygopus nigriceps) from Paynes Find, WA.

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