Striped Legless Lizard

The Striped Legless Lizard Delma impar is a significant reptile species listed as vulnerable under the Commonwealth EPBC Act, and listed as a threatened taxon under the Victorian FFG Act.

The responsible authority (i.e. council, State or Commonwealth Government) may request a targeted survey for the Striped Legless Lizard if an action will result in the removal of potential Striped Legless Lizard habitat or known Striped Legless Lizard populations.

DESCRIPTION: The Striped Legless Lizard is a reptile that lacks forelimbs and has only very reduced hind limbs (apparent as small flaps). The Striped Legless Lizard is pale-grey with a series of dark-brown or blackish stripes.

HABITAT: The Striped Legless Lizard is a grassland species where historic disturbance tends to be more important than native or exotic species coverage. Striped Legless Lizard are less prevalent in grassland which have recently been ploughed or have a history of fertiliser use. Light grazing does not seem to affect Striped Legless Lizard, however heavy grazing creates bare patches which are actively avoided by the species.

DISTRIBUTION: The Striped Legless Lizard was formerly distributed throughout temperate lowland grasslands of the ACT, NSW, Victoria and South Australia. However the distribution of Striped Legless Lizard has declined, with many known sites no longer supporting populations due to habitat fragmentation and degradation.

TARGETED SURVEYS: An adequate method for detecting the highly cryptic species is yet to be developed. Tile (terracotta roofing tiles) surveys are commonly employed to detect the presence of the Striped Legless Lizard in potential habitat. Grids of tiles are placed within grassland for an extended period of time (prior to the summer season) and then checked on various occasion (during the summer season) for Striped Legless Lizard warming under the tiles.

NOTE: Targeted surveys for Striped Legless Lizard should be undertaken by suitably qualified and experienced personnel with appropriate permits and approvals.

For more information regarding the services Beacon Ecological can provide and Targeted Surveys for Striped Legless Lizard please click “contact” in the menu above or visit our home page at

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