Reptiles of the World: California Legless Lizard

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Anniella pulchra

rw-087-CaliforniaLeglessLizardThe coastal regions of southern California and Baja California are the home of these legless lizards, a term that by now will be seen to have minimal descriptive value.

These lizards, which are 8 to 10 inches long, occupy loose sandy areas and have become sand swimmers rather than borrowers. They pass through the sands by lateral undulation, detecting their prey mainly by smell both underground and at the surface. Like the amphisbaenians, these snake lizards require a fairly humid soil and will often dig down to levels at which the soil starts to be moist.

Like many other limbless lizards these are live-bearing; the young become sexually mature in three years