It´s not a worm, it´s not a snake - News - Gondwana Collection

News

Gondwana's Newsroom

It´s not a worm, it´s not a snake

Avatar of inke inke - 17. May 2018 - Environment


Dirk Heinrich

In the rainy season, when the ground is waterlogged, they sometimes surface in our gardens: about 25 centimetres long, more or less 5 millimetres thick, of a pinkish-brownish colour and of an appearance that resembles a worm or a snake. They are not worms nor snakes, however, but Kalahari Round-headed Worm Lizards (Zygaspis quadrifrons). These reptiles are legless lizards which live under the ground. It is difficult to tell where the head or tail is, because both ends are bluntly rounded. Worm lizards are not dangerous and will not bite.

According to Mike Griffon, who for many years was the expert on reptiles, amphibians and small mammals in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the Kalahari Round-headed Worm Lizard is the most common species of the family in Namibia. It occurs throughout the northern and central parts of the country as far south as Bethanie. Griffin says that these reptiles are absent from the Namib Desert because of its aridity and unsuitable substrate, but they can be found in the dry riverbeds that traverse the desert. 

The Kalahari Round-headed Worm Lizard mainly eats small terrestrial grubs and termites which it finds in its substrate. Worm lizards push their way through sand and rotting plant matter in search of food. Females lay 3 to 4 longish eggs (3.5-4 mm x 17-19 mm) in summer.

New comment

1 comments

Andrea

18. May 2018

very nice


Stay up-to-date with our monthly 'Gondwana Tracks' Newsletter Sign up Today