Nature conservation

Threatened species

Striped Legless Lizard - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Delma impar
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Vulnerable
Profile last updated: 11 Jun 2020


The Striped Legless Lizard differs most obviously from a snake in having external ear openings, small scaly flaps for hind limbs, a long tail and a broad, undivided tongue. It is pale grey-brown above, with a darker head, and almost white below. The most distinguishing characteristic is a pattern of light and dark parallel lines running along the length of the body, although these may be very pale or even absent in some individuals. This parallel stripe pattern breaks up into a diagonal pattern on the tail. They grow to about 30 cm in length, with up to three-quarters of this being the tail.


The Striped Legless Lizard occurs in the Southern Tablelands, the South West Slopes, the Upper Hunter and possibly on the Riverina. Populations are known in the Goulburn, Yass, Queanbeyan, Cooma, Muswellbrook and Tumut areas. Also occurs in the ACT, Victoria and south-eastern South Australia.

Habitat and ecology

  • Found mainly in Natural Temperate Grassland but has also been captured in grasslands that have a high exotic component.
  • Also found in secondary grassland near Natural Temperate Grassland and occasionally in open Box-Gum Woodland.
  • Habitat is where grassland is dominated by perennial, tussock-forming grasses such as Kangaroo Grass Themeda australis, spear-grasses Austrostipa spp. and poa tussocks Poa spp., and occasionally wallaby grasses Austrodanthonia spp.
  • Sometimes present in modified grasslands with a significant content of exotic grasses.
  • Sometimes found in grasslands with significant amounts of surface rocks, which are used for shelter.
  • Sometimes utilises dried cowpats for shelter.
  • Actively hunts for spiders, crickets, moth larvae and cockroaches.
  • Two papery eggs are laid in early summer.
  • Goes below ground or under rocks or logs over winter.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Range Predicted None
NSW North CoastEllerston Predicted None
NSW South Western SlopesInland Slopes Known None
Other StateACT Known None
Other StateSA Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBathurst Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsBondo Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsCrookwell Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsKanangra Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsKybeyan-Gourock Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsMonaro Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMurrumbateman Known None
South Eastern HighlandsOberon Predicted None
Sydney BasinHunter Known None
Sydney BasinKerrabee Predicted None