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Florida Worm Lizard Rhineura floridana


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Florida Worm Lizard
credit: Jake M. Scott/CCSA

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Family: Amphisbaenidae, Worm Lizards view all from this family

Description 7-16" (17.8-40.6 cm). Legless, opalescent-pink lizard, resembles an earthworm. Depressed and chisel-like snout facilitates burrowing; lower jaw is countersunk. Scales are arranged in rings around body; tail slightly depressed and upper surface rough. No external eyes or ear openings.

Breeding 1-3 eggs are deposited in summer, hatch in early fall.

Habitat Sandy areas, primarily in high pine and broadleaf hammock areas.

Range N. and c. Florida.

Discussion A burrower, it lives underground searching for earthworms and termites. It is sometimes seen at the surface after heavy rains have saturated the soil or cultivation has disrupted its burrow. Mockingbirds occasionally unearth a worm lizard while searching for earthworms.