Exploration of unique identifying features for Striped Legless Lizards
Between January and March 1999, 72 Striped Legless Lizards were collected for examination from Iramoo Wildlife Reserve, St Albans, Victoria, Australia (37o44'S, 144o47'E) and then released at the point of capture.
To assess for ontogenetic changes in the dorsal head scale pattern of Striped Legless Lizards, a captive colony of eight hatchlings was studied for approximately two years.
A captive colony of 52 adult Striped Legless Lizards housed at Victoria University was studied to determine whether the use of dorsal head scales for individual identification was reliable and persistent over time.
Of the three regions of scales explored (loreal, ventral head and dorsal head), the arrangement and pattern of dorsal head scales was found to be sufficiently varied between Striped Legless Lizards to enable individual identification.
The use of dorsal head scale patterns was a reliable method for identifying and monitoring adult Striped Legless Lizards in the captive colony at Victoria University.
Volunteers were generally able to positively identify individual Striped Legless Lizards using the dorsal head scale pattern.
The dorsal head scale patterns of Striped Legless Lizards are sufficiently varied between individuals to enable the use of lepidosis (the analysis of the arrangement and character of scales of reptiles) for individual identification.
The dorsal head scale pattern of Striped Legless Lizards appears to be fixed from the time of hatching and alters very little with ontogenetic development or over time.