The three-clawed worm skink is a common sighting around Queensland and the Sunshine Coast. Much like Burton’s Legless Lizard, this skink appears entirely limbless – more like a snake than a lizard! However, as with many native skinks in the area, closer inspection of the three-clawed worm skink reveals four small limbs.
These lizards have a skink-like tongue and are completely harmless. You may find one or two in your garden, as these reptiles love to burrow into compost and garden clipping heaps.
The three-clawed worm skink is a common lizard species that is endemic to Australia, growing to lengths of 30-50cm. Their skin is very glossy and is a light to dark brown colour, with a very smooth and rounded shape, making them look distinctly like worms.
The head of the three-clawed worm skink often had a band across it, and they have big, distinct eyes and nostrils. There are 3 tiny toes on the front limbs of these curious looking creatures, but their back ‘feet’ are often toeless, and despite having limbs, these skinks move more like snakes than lizards.
Three-clawed worm skinks can be found predominantly in Queensland and New South Wales. Typically preferring a forest-type habitat, these skinks favour lush areas.
These skinks prey on small invertebrates and are primarily active at night.
You may come across a three-clawed worm skink or two in your garden! They are unlikely to venture into homes or built-up areas, and are not venomous. These lizards are completely harmless and don’t pose a threat to children or animals.
If you would like a three-clawed worm skink removed from your garden, please contact the Snake Rescue Sunny Coast team. Our licensed and experienced snake handlers can safely capture and relocate the skink to a more suitable location.
When we’re looking for a snake, the first places we look are along the walls and under debris. Snakes try to avoid predators by moving along the walls and beneath cover. Unless they are going from concealment to cover or seeking warmth from the sun, it’s unusual to observe a snake moving out in the open.
We study their body language once we discover the snake, before we attempt to catch it. This tells us what the snake is thinking and indicates what it might do. We can tell when they are going to run, stand up and fight, or simply be apathetic toward our presence based on their body language. It’s critical for us to understand how to capture and handle snakes using this information.
After they’ve been captured, they’re put in a bag and kept quiet in a dark, tight space. This keeps us safe while handling the snake, as well as allows the snake to calm down.
Following the capture of the snake, they are relocated to suitable bushland and set free. Each snake is assigned its own habitat and food. As a result, we release them into areas that are ideal for each species. Keelbacks and Red-bellied black snakes enjoy frogs and lizards, so we put them in areas near water sources such as rivers or dams.
During an operation, we always want to double-check the snakes for health and remove any external parasites like ticks before they are released. If the snake is not healthy enough to be released, it may be due to injury or sickness; they are taken to Australia Zoo’s wildlife hospital for further evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation.
As snake catchers, all the snakes we catch are logged with the department of wildlife and science. This is so they can keep track of where each snake has been caught and released, to monitor and maintain the biodiversity in the area.
We have also been keeping a personal log of all the snakes we have caught on the Sunshine Coast that you can view on our website. This way you can see the species and location of each snake we have caught around the sunshine coast and in your areas.