Compiler and date details
September 2011 - Dr Paul Horner
This largest and most diverse family of lizards contains more than 1,275 species in 85 genera; of these, some 389 species and 38 genera occur in Australia and make up about 50% of our total lizard fauna. The family is represented in all tropical and temperate regions, although it is most speciose in the region encompassing Africa, southern Asia, the Indo-Australian Archipelago, New Guinea and Australia.
Characterised in Australia by: limbs variable, ranging from well-developed pentadactyl forms through various stages of limb and digit reduction to snake- or worm-like forms in which limbs are entirely absent; eyelids either movable or fixed, the latter either forming a complete, sealed spectacle or with a slit-like opening above; pupil usually circular, sometimes vertically elliptical; external ear opening either present or absent; body scales usually imbricate, rarely juxtaposed; tongue broad, flat and fleshy, slightly notched in front; scales on top of head usually enlarged to form a series of symmetrical shields.
Cogger, H.G. 1979. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Sydney : A.H. & A.W. Reed 608 pp.
Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Sydney : Reed New Holland 808 pp.
Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2003. A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia. Australia : Holland 448 pp.
Worrell, E. 1970. Reptiles of Australia. Sydney : Angus & Robertson xv 169 pp.
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