The life history and ecology of the Pink-tailed Worm Lizard Aprasia parapulchella Kluge - a review

David WONG, Sandie Jones, William Osborne, Geoff Brown, Peter Robertson, Damian Michael, Geoffrey Kay

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    Abstract

    This review synthesises research on the Pink-tailed Worm-lizard Aprasia parapulche!Ia - a threatened species with life-history traits and habitat and dietary preferences that make it particularly vulnerable to decline. Further information on the ecology of A. parapulchella is required in order to develop effective approaches to conservation and management, particularly given the conservation status of the species. Aprasia parapulchella is a dietary specialist living in the burrows of small ants, the eggs and larvae of which it preys upon. It is late maturing (adult size probably attained in the third or fourth year of life), has a small clutch, is thought to be long-lived and has specific habitat preferences. It has a strong association with landscapes that are characterised by outcroppings of lightly-embedded surface rocks, The lizard is associated with a particular suite of ant species and ground cover tending towards open native vegetation (grasses and shrubs) at most sites, but with regional differences. Although the highest densities have been recorded in areas without tree cover, the species has also been found in open-forest and woodland. The relative density of populations and the snout-vent length and weight of specimens reveal regional differences, suggesting that further analysis of the genetic status of the population across its range is warranted, There is still much to learn about the ecology of the species, in particular with respect to movement, breeding, dispersal and the relationship between lizards and ants. Further survey for new populations remains a key priority.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)927-940
    Number of pages14
    JournalAustralian Zoologist
    Volume35
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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