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An additional reproductive record for Delma inornata (Kluge,1974).

By Rob Valentic.

Delma inornata

An adult male Patternless delma Delma inornata from Shepparton, central Victoria, Australia.


There is a paucity of information in the literature concerning the reproductive biology of the Pygopodidae, with the most comprehensive records from Patchell & Shine (1986). The authors present one record of a gravid Delma inornata collected in January and state that pygopods  typically ovulate in spring and early summer, females are gravid until midsummer. The following report is consistent with these findings.


On the 13th of January 1994 I discovered a fresh DOR (dead on road) gravid specimen of  Delma inornata. The  lizard was found on a very warm (35C. approx.) humid and overcast night on the Castlereagh Highway, 36 km north of Walgett (3001'S, 14807'E) in north-eastern New South Wales. The road intersects open riparian eucalypt woodland with a mixed grassland/chenopod shrubland understory on compacting alluvial soils. Upon dissection the lizard was found to contain an elongate egg in an advanced state of development in each oviduct.
The dimensions of each egg as follows:

Egg 1. Length: 29mm. Width: 10mm.
Egg 2. Length: 26mm. Width: 9mm.
Mean. Length:27.5mm. Width: 9.5mm.

Pygopods are sexually dimorphic in form, with females attaining larger sizes than males (Patchell & Shine, 1986). Table 1 of that paper shows a SVL (snout-vent length) range for males of 78 - 110mm (N=8) and 77 - 131mm (N=12) for females of D. inornata. The SVL of 126mm for the DOR female specimen falls within this range.



Patchell, F.C. and Shine, R. 1986. Food habits and reproductive biology of the Australian legless lizards (Pygopodidae). Copeia (1): 30 - 39.