Burton’s Snake Lizard

Lizards of South East Queensland

Burtons Snake Lizard

Lialis burtonis
Other common names: Legless lizard.
Burtons Snake lizard

Species Profile

General description:

The Burtons Snake Lizard has a distinctive long, pointed wedge-shaped snout unlike any other reptile, with the head scales small, fragmented and irregular. The hind limbs are reduced to flaps which are minute and difficult to detect. Colour and patterns are extremely variable, and ranges from cream and patternless through to shades of grey, brown, yellow, and red with combinations of stripes, lines and spots.

Average length:

290mm but specimens in excess of 400mm are recorded locally

Habitat in SE Qld:

Utilises a range of habitat types preferring low vegetation such as tussocks, and beneath rocks, logs and ground debris.


Reptile specialist, feeding exclusively on skinks, geckos, dragons, other legless lizards and small snakes. Suffocates it’s prey by grabbing hold around the chest area and holds it fast until suffocated, consuming its prey head first.

Local Distribution:

Successful in all Brisbane suburbs.

Around the home:

Most specimens are found after falling into backyard swimming pools, discovered by a roaming cat or scurrying from the lawn mower from within long grass. They are inoffensive and should simply be released within the confines of your yard in heavy cover such as mulch or under a dense shrub preferably at night.

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