Search AROD:
AROD > Reptiles / Squamata / Pygopodidae / Delma / Marble-faced delma

<- Delma borea ->   <- Aprasia wicherina ->  

Marble-faced delma

marble-faced delma (Delma australis)
Ngarkat Conservation Park, South Australia
Photo © Jordan de Jong
Delma australis - Kluge, 1974
Pronunciation  DELL-mah   oss-TRAH-liss
Etymology  Delma: apparently meaningless
australis: 'southern', or more generally referring to Australia.
Other names   
Snout-to-vent length
Species avg: 8.8 cm
Clutch size
Description Distribution Natural history Conservation Further information More photos


"...widespread throughout the subhumid to arid areas of southern Australia, from northwestern Victoria, and southwestern New South Wales, through most of South Australia and adjacent southern Northern Territory to southern and central west Western Australia (Wilson & Knowles 1988; Shea 1991; Swan et al. 2004; Wilson & Swan 2013). In Western Australia, it extends north to Shark Bay (base of Peron Peninsula), Meedo Station, Weld Range, Paynes Find, Windarling Hill and Buningonia Spring, south through the Avon Wheatbelt, Mallee and Coolgardie Goldfields bioregions, and east to Cocklebiddy. There is a disjunct population on the North West Cape, represented by a single specimen from Shothole Canyon in the Cape Range. Other possible outlier populations in the mid-west of Western Australia are Walyering Hill, Oakajee and near Kalbarri. Insular populations occur on Rat and Middle Islands in the Houtman Abrolhos."1

Found in the following Australian states/territories

New South Wales, Northern Territory, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia


"In northwestern Victoria and southwestern New South Wales D. australis mainly occupies mallee habitats with a spinifex (Triodia) understorey (Swan et al. 2004; Swan & Watharow 2005). This habitat association is repeated in South Australia where the majority of the southern and western populations are from Triodia or mallee habitats, or combination of both (Shea 1991). The western Lake Eyre Basin population lives on gibber plain with Atriplex, on watercourses lined with Eucalyptus, and on low, stony hills with drainage channels and Acacia (Shea 1991; B. Maryan, pers. obs.).
In Western Australia, D. australis occupies a variety of habitats growing on different soils, including mallee and/or other Eucalyptus woodlands and Acacia with a spinifex (Triodia and Plectrachne) or shrubland understorey (Storr et al. 1990; Smith et al. 1997; Bush et al. 2007). The habitat at Cape Range on the North West Cape consists of a heavily dissected limestone plateau sparsely vegetated with Triodia, shrubs and low eucalypts; gorges within the range are more heavily vegetated (Storr & Hanlon 1980).
These diverse vegetation communities provide ample cover for D. australis, where most specimens have been pit-trapped, found in and under spinifex and sedge tussocks, raked from leaf litter, spoil-heaps, mats of dead vegetation and found under logs, mallee roots, rocks (including coral slabs on the Houtman Abrolhos) and rubbish, especially pieces of corrugated iron in disturbed areas adjacent to uncleared vegetation. When found in sympatry with other Delma species, D. australis tends to occur in moister microhabitats (Shea 1991; Wilson & Swan 2013). Interestingly, nocturnal observations of D. australis on sealed roads or tracks are rare, unlike other, larger-bodied species of Delma."1

Notes and disclaimer
This information may not be complete. While all care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information in this page, primary sources should always be consulted for definitive information. Animals have an endearing habit of disobeying the rules, so the information on this page should be interpreted with a degree of flexibility.
The author and site operator accepts no responsibility for any losses or damages incurred through using this web site or the information contained herein. Don't get bitten by anything!
This page may be cited as:
  Delma australis at the Australian Reptile Online Database. Last updated 2019-05-03 21:41:49.
  Retrieved from on the 28th of November, 2021.
Before citing information contained in AROD, please read our Citing AROD page.

Copyright notice
This page, its content and layout are copyright © 2007-2021 Stewart Macdonald / Ug Media, unless otherwise stated.
All photographs in The Australian Reptile Online Database are © the photographer and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the photographer.
No part of The Australian Reptile Online Database may be reproduced without written permission from Stewart Macdonald.
AROD | Reptile Info | About | Contact | In the wild | Reviews