Legless burrowing skink from East London

Photographs of a Giant Legless skink recorded at Haga-Haga were posted a few years back (September 2011). The species, Acontias plumbeus, lacks any trace of external limbs and can reach a length of 50 cm.

Mary Cole, museum malacologist, retrieved another  specimen from her garden today in Beacon Bay. It was found crossing an open lawn. Feeding on a variety of invertebrates including centipedes, beetle lava, spiders and termites, this species is also known to prey on burrowing reptiles and frogs. At the moment there are a lot of frogs in the garden after good rains. Compacted soils may have become waterlogged after the rains forcing the skink to the surface. Another reason for the find maybe is that the Giant Legless Skink like to bask in the sun during the morning and was noticed having surfaced for this purpose.

Giant Legless Skink, Acontias plumbeus

Giant Legless Skink, Acontias plumbeus

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About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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