Lerista varia Variable-striped Robust Slider
Also known as:
Shark Bay Broad-blazed Slider
Peron National Park, Western Australia, AustraliaNovember 25, 2009
Variable-striped Robust Slider (Lerista varia)
Lerista skinks spend nearly all of their time under the sand, so I was surprised when my sister Mary spotted this one entirely on the surface. It has a scar approximately where its front left leg would be if it bothered to have front legs, and a broken trail, but was plenty wriggly and seemed generally healthy.

To tell apart the many Lerista species that live in this area, one must first count the legs and next count the toes. This one had no front legs and two toes on the rear legs, which narrowed its identification down to a few species. Lerista varia seemed to be the best match, though most photos I’ve seen of L. varia show lizards considerably thicker than this one.

I’ve written up an account of this three-week trip to Australia here.

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