Meet the striped legless lizard

Scientific name: Delma impar

Brown legless lizard half coiled on a rock
Striped legless lizard

Conservation status

Australian Government status: vulnerable

Victorian Government status: endangered


The sleek striped legless lizard is often mistaken for a small snake but is in fact a shy, non-venomous reptile. These little creatures have tiny remnant legs, visible ears and can grow up to 30cm long.

They can jump as high as 30cm into the air to escape predators, detaching their tails to confuse them.

Living up to 20 years, the striped legless lizard is thought to eat mostly crickets, spiders, grasshoppers and other insects. They move with ease through grasslands and can burrow quickly into the soil. They are active during the day and squeak to communicate with each other, and also when threatened.


  • loss or degradation of native grasslands
  • weed invasion
  • removal of rocks.

Where are they found?

Striped legless lizards live in lowland tussock grasslands in south-eastern Australia. They are very rarely found in Melbourne but are sometimes found in remnant grasslands on the city’s outskirts.

What we are doing

We are working to protect the striped legless lizard in a number of our conservation areas.

Page last updated: 24/01/24