Nature conservation

Threatened species

Mallee Worm-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: Aprasia inaurita
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 17 Sep 2004
Profile last updated: 01 Dec 2017


The Mallee Worm-lizard is also called the Pink-nosed Worm-lizard and Red-tailed Worm-lizard (and in Victoria Mallee Worm-lizard is used for the related Aprasia aurita). It is a slender pygopid (legless lizard), with an average snout-vent length of around 135mm, and a short and blunt tail. It is snake-like in appearance, with no forelimbs and very small hind-limb flaps. It is pale olive brown or greyish-brown above, with a reddish-brown hue around the head and neck and a bright reddish-orange tail. The undersides are whitish. It lacks an external ear opening, and has very small black eyes.


This species has been recorded across the four southern mainland states, though its distribution in both Western Australian and New South Wales is restricted. Most records in NSW are from the south west corner of the state, though there are two records from the central mallee (Pulletop and Gubbata NRs) from 1999. Most records are from the mallee between Balranald and Gol Gol centred on Mallee Cliffs NP, though recent surveys in the Scotia mallee have also recorded this species.

Habitat and ecology

  • Inhabits semi-arid, mallee woodlands on red sands.
  • Often shelters in sand, beneath mallee stumps, in leaf litter or in the nests of ants and other insects; thought to be dependent on Spinifex (Triodia scariosa).
  • Feeds on the eggs of small black ants of the genus Aphaenogaster.
  • A burrowing species which is active during the day.
  • An oviparous (egg-laying) species that probably breeds in spring.

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
Cobar PeneplainLachlan Plains Known None
Murray Darling DepressionSouth Olary Plain Known None
Other StateSA Known None