Nature conservation

Threatened species

Pink-tailed 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: Aprasia parapulchella
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Vulnerable
Profile last updated: 22 Mar 2023


The Pink-tailed Legless Lizard (also known as the Pink-tailed Worm-lizard) is worm-like, with a dark-brown head and nape, gradually merging with the pale grey or grey-brown body. The tail, nearly as long as its body, is pink or reddish-brown towards the tip. Its snout and tail are both rounded. There are no external ear openings. The broad, non-forked tongue, frequently used to wipe the eyes, and the presence of small hind-limb flaps, distinguishes it from a juvenile snake. Specimens grow to about 25 cm in length.


The Pink-tailed Legless Lizard is primarily known from the Central and Southern Tablelands and the South Western Slopes, with a confirmed outlier record on the Hay Plains north of Hay. There is a concentration of populations in the Canberra/Queanbeyan Region. Other populations have been recorded near Cooma, Yass, Bathurst, Albury and West Wyalong. This species is also found in the Australian Capital Territory.

Habitat and ecology

  • Inhabits sloping, open woodland areas with predominantly native grassy groundlayers, particularly those dominated by Kangaroo Grass (Themeda australis).
  • Sites are typically well-drained, with rocky outcrops or scattered, partially-buried rocks.
  • Commonly found beneath small, partially-embedded rocks and appear to spend considerable time in burrows below these rocks; the burrows have been constructed by and are often still inhabited by small black ants and termites.
  • Feeds on the larvae and eggs of the ants with which it shares its burrows.
  • It is thought that this species lays 2 eggs inside the ant nests during summer; the young first appear in March.
  • Not all sites are rocky. For instance, on the Hay Plains the species has been recorded from a disturbed ants nest in chenopod shrubland and the West Wyalong population occurs in mallee woodland.

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 Plains Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Range Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthTalbragar Valley Known None
NandewarPeel Known None
NSW North CoastEllerston Predicted None
NSW North CoastUpper Hunter Predicted None
NSW South Western SlopesInland Slopes Known None
NSW South Western SlopesLower Slopes Known None
Other StateACT Known None
RiverinaLachlan Known None
RiverinaMurrumbidgee Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsBathurst Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Known None
South Eastern HighlandsCrookwell Known None
South Eastern HighlandsHill End Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMonaro Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMurrumbateman Known None
South Eastern HighlandsOberon Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsOrange Predicted None
Sydney BasinHunter Known None
Sydney BasinKerrabee Known None
Sydney BasinWollemi Predicted None