Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps


Compiler and date details

October 2013 - ABRS


A family of oviparous, limbless snake- or worm-like lizards endemic to the Australia region, known as snake lizards, legless lizards or flap-footed lizards. Of the 34 species in 8 genera, only one species (confined to New Guinea) does not occur in Australia. They are most closely allied to the geckos (family Gekkonidae).



The family is characterised in Australia by: forelimbs absent; hindlimbs vestigial, represented by a pair of scaly skin flaps, one on either side of the cloacal opening; eyes without movable lids and covered by a snake-like spectacle; external ear opening usually present; tail (unless regenerating) usually at least as long as the snout-vent length.


General References

Cogger, H.G. 1979. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Sydney : A.H. & A.W. Reed 608 pp.

Kinghorn, J.R. 1926. A brief review of the family Pygopodidae. Records of the Australian Museum 15: 40-64

Kluge, A.G. 1974. A taxonomic revision of the lizard family Pygopodidae. Miscellaneous Publications of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 147: 1-221

Stephenson, N.G. 1960. The comparative osteology of Australian geckos and its bearing on their morphological status. Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology 44: 278-299

Underwood, G. 1957. On lizards of the family Pygopodidae. A contribution to the morphology and phylogeny of the Squamata. Journal of Morphology 100: 207-268

Wermuth, H. 1965. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien Gekkonidae, Pygopodidae, Xantusiidae. Das Tierreich 80(1–22): 1-246


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
04-Nov-2013 PYGOPODIDAE 04-Nov-2013 MODIFIED
30-Mar-2012 30-Mar-2012 MODIFIED
28-May-2014 16-Dec-2011 MOVED
28-May-2014 07-Dec-2011 MODIFIED
08-Mar-2011 08-Mar-2011 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)