Slender Glass Lizard
Ophisaurus attenuatus
 
The key characteristic about this lizard is that it has no limbs; dark longitudinal stripes flank a noticeable groove on each side of its body. Its overall length at maturity is from 22-42 inches. The head is equipped with eyelids and ear openings. The upper body appears to be covered with hundreds of small dark green mirrors.

 


 

Its preferred habitat is prairies, sandy fields, old fields and dry open woodlands.

The Glass Lizard is known to wriggle frantically when captured and can disjoin its tail from the upper body in order to escape capture. While it can lose up to 60% of its body in this way, it does regrow the tail, but as lore would relate, it cannot return to the spot and rejoin itself.

Glass lizards eat invertebrates and other small lizards. Mating occurs in May and 5 to 15 eggs are laid in late June or July. Hawks and carnivorous mammals are the main predators.

The Glass Lizard is listed on the "To Watch" list in several states, including Alabama and Florida.


 

 

Return to Animal House Thumbnail Gallery