Acontias percivali

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Percival's Lance Skink
Acontias percivali
Acontias percivali.jpeg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Lacertilia
Family: Scincidae
Genus: Acontias
Species: A. percivali
Binomial name
Acontias percivali
(Loveridge, 1935)
Acontias percivali distribution (colored).png

Acontias percivali, also known as Percival's legless lizard, Tanzanian legless lizard, and Percival's lance skink, is a small, legless (snake-like) species of lizard in the family Scincidae, collectively known as "skinks".


The species' range is limited to continental Africa and includes regions of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Angola, and Tanzania.


Percival's lance skink inhabits savannas by burrowing just below the surface of the soil.


The three subspecies of A. percivali are:

  • A. p. tasmani
  • A. p. occidentalis
  • A. p. percivali

A. p. tasmani may be a subspecies of Acontias meleagris as seen after DNA sequencing tests.[citation needed]


Percival's lance skink can be identified by its copper-brown back and gold underside. It is an insectivores that specializes in feeding on beetle larvae, earthworms, and other slow-moving invertebrates. It is ovoviviparous) and has one to five young at a time.

As pets[edit]

Although this animal is poorly understood, it is occasionally seen in pet shops. Most Acontias specimens in the pet trade are wild-collected. In captivity, they require a deep layer of sandy substrate and hollow hiding places on the surface. Captive breeding is possible, but currently has not been accomplished commercially.