Burton’s Snake-lizard

Lialis burtonis SVL 270mm

(Burton’s Legless Lizard)

What does it look like?  Robust, smooth-scaled, ‘snake-like’ lizard. Elongated head with long, pointed, wedge-shaped snout, and short tail. Highly variable in colour, including grey, yellow, reddish-brown or blackish above, with or without longitudinal stripes or broken lines on body, and conspicuous white or cream stripe on sides of head and neck. Underparts covered with variable amounts of small dark and pale flecks. Forelimbs absent and hindlimbs reduced to tiny flaps. Eyes have vertical pupils.

Where is it found?  Throughout mainland Australia and islands of Torres Strait. Absent from far south-west and far south-east.

What are its habitats & habits? Occupies wide range of habitats, including forests, woodland, heaths, shrubland and spinifex deserts. Active by day and night, foraging on the ground almost exclusively for smaller lizards, which are supplemented with other small reptiles and invertebrates. Oviparous, laying 1–3 parchment-shelled eggs in a clutch.