Snakes Harmful and HarmlessTM


Atomic Worm Lizard (Aprasia rostrata) from Hermite Island, Montebello Archipelago.

In 1952, preparations were underway establishing infrastructure for Britainís first atomic weapons test in the Montebello Archipelago. Mr Frank Hill was a member of the party camped near Claret Bay on the southern end of Hermite Island. He was neither botanist nor naturalist, but managed to collect numerous plant and animal specimens, including two worm lizards, which were subsequently described as new in 1956. Mr Hillís notes were published in London in 1955. No further specimens of this lizard had been seen since.

In September 2006, Brad Maryan (WA Museum) and Brian Bush (Snakes Harmful & Harmless) spent a week in the area and visited Hermite, Trimouille and North-West Islands. They rediscovered this small worm lizard on Hermite Island and recorded it for the first time on Trimouille Island.

Reference: 2007 Maryan, B. & Bush, B. Rediscovery of Aprasia rostrata on the Montebello Islands, Western Australia. West. Aust. Nat. 25 (4): 247-251.

Funding to cover fuel for the trip from Perth to Exmouth and return kindly provided by Harry Butler through the Harry Butler Grant Fund managed by the Western Australian Museum. Vehicle supplied by Snakes Harmful & Harmless.

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