Striped legless lizard

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Striped legless lizard
Striped legless lizard.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Pygopodidae
Genus: Delma
Species: D. impar
Binomial name
Delma impar
(Fischer, 1882)
Delma impar distribution.svg

The striped legless lizard (Delma impar) is a species of lizard in the Pygopodidae family endemic to Australia.[1] As of 2015 it is threatened with extinction, with few habitats left.

The lizard is up to 30 cm in length.[2] It is superficially similar to a snake, and sometimes confused with the deadly brown snake. However, it is more closely related to the gecko and the skink. It has vestigial legs and an unforked tongue. Most of its body is made up of a non-detachable tail.


The Striped Legless Lizard was formerly distributed throughout temperate lowland grasslands in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the south-western slopes and Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, central and southern Victoria, and the south-eastern corner of South Australia. The distribution of the species has declined, with many known sites no longer supporting populations. Due to habitat fragmentation the remaining populations are probably small and isolated.[2]

Its sole habitat within Canberra is scheduled for development in late 2015-2016, which will destroy most of the small-animal population there. In an innovative effort, prior to bulldozers destroying the grasslands, roofing tiles are being used as "heat bait" to attract the lizards in the area. The captured lizards are then planned for evaluation, tracking, and transportation to what may be a sustainable habit 75 kilometres (47 mi) away.[3]


  1. ^ "Delma impar". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Australasian Reptile & Amphibian Specialist Group. 1996. Retrieved 14 Oct 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Department of Environment: "Delma impar — Striped Legless Lizard", accessed 17 Apr 2016
  3. ^ Milman, Oliver (14 Oct 2015). "The party’s over for the striped legless lizard in Australia's capital". The Guardian -. Archived from the original on 14 Oct 2015. Retrieved 14 Oct 2015 – via (Archived by WebCite® at