Legless Lizards
Family Pygopodidae


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



Southwest Sandplain Worm Lizard (Aprasia repens) Northam, WA
A common burrowing legless lizard dug up in gardens in Perth.


Javelin Lizard (Aclys concinna) from west of Marchagee, WA


Sharp-snouted Snake Lizard (Lialis burtonis)) from Menzies, WA


Fraser's Delma (Delma fraseri)) hatchlings from Lort River, WA


Common Scaly-foot (Pygopus lepidopodus) from Lort River, WA showing polymorhism


Hooded Scaly-foot (Pygopus nigriceps) from Broad Arrow, WA


Back to main page

Back to Pic Index