Common scaly-foot

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Common scaly-foot
Pygopus lepidopodus Kur-ring-gai Chase.jpg
Scalyfoot at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Australia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Pygopodidae
Genus: Pygopus
Species: P. lepidopodus
Binomial name
Pygopus lepidopodus
Bernard Germain de Lacépède 1804
Pygopus lepidopodus distribution.svg

The common scaly-foot (Pygopus lepidopodus) is a widespread species of legless lizard in the Pygopodidae family.[1] It is endemic to Australia.

Habit[edit]

Mostly active at dusk or dawn (crepuscular), it can be nocturnal after high daytime temperatures. It lives in long grasses, heaths, and woodlands, and is most often seen on warm mornings, foraging for food. When threatened, the scaly-foot flashes its thick, fleshy tongue, in an apparent mimicry of snakes. Usually two eggs are laid per clutch.[2]

Diet[edit]

Its diet includes a variety of invertebrates such as burrowing spiders.[3] The scaly-foot reportedly also eating other lizards in captivity, and vegetable matter,[4] with a preference for bananas.

Distribution[edit]

It is found mostly in the southern and eastern parts of Australia, though isolated populations occur in semiarid southern Queensland and tropical wet Queensland.[1]

Description[edit]

The scaky-foot is snake-like in appearance, up to 80 cm in length with a noticeable "keel" or ridge on the top. Variable in colours and pattern, it occasionally is grey with black spots or[1] sometimes coppery brown with a grey tail. Other patterns and variations occur. Prominent limb flaps may be seen on close inspection, hence the name "scaly-foot".

Captivity[edit]

Considered an easy to keep species,[2] a license is required to keep the common scaly-foot as a pet in Australia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wilson, Steve; Swan, Gerry. A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia. p. 122. ISBN 1-876334-72-X. 
  2. ^ a b "Complete outline of the NSW reptile licensing system (PDF - 117KB) - Publication | NSW Environment & Heritage". Environment.nsw.gov.au. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  3. ^ "Captive breeding". Jstor.org. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  4. ^ "Notes on the feeding behaviour of the Common Scaly Foot - Pygopus lepidopodus - and Burton's Legless Lizard - Lialis burtonis". Smuggled.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 

External links[edit]