205. Black Legless Lizard

205. Black legless lizard: Struggling to Survive in Shifting Sands (1 minute and 9 seconds)
Amy Palkovic, Environmental Scientist 

Hi! I am Amy Palkovic, an Environmental Scientist for State Parks.

Do you know what creature looks like a pencil-sized snake and will rarely be seen above ground? The answer is a California legless lizard. The legless lizard looks like a snake, but it has moveable eyelids, unlike snakes, which have no eyelids

These lizards range in color from silvery gray to brown or black on their backside, while their throat and belly are typically yellow.  In young lizards, the belly might be a pale pink.  Once classified as a separate subspecies, the black legless lizard is now considered to be a dark form of the California legless lizard.

They spend most of their lives below the surface of the sand and only occasionally venture above ground.

They eat larval insects, small adult insects, and spiders. They are eaten by snakes, birds, small mammals, and domestic cats.

Instead of laying eggs like most lizards, they bear 1 to 4 live young, which are usually born between September and November.

Even though you probably will not see a legless lizard, FortOrdDunesState Park provides valuable habitat for this species. They are just one of the unique animals that live here.