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 only known from the Central and Southern Tablelands, and the South Western Slopes. 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.
We acknowledge and thank the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage for the provision of threatened species information in this website.
Image by Matt from Melbourne, Australia – Pink-tailed Worm-lizard (Aprasia parapulchella)Uploaded by SunOfErat, CC BY 2.0,
For more information:
NSW Office of Environment & Heritage