Glass lizards (family Anguidae
), often called "glass snakes", are legless lizards. Their long tails break off easily, hence the name. The tails do regenerate but without any markings. They have two kinds of scales: stiff scales, each supported by a small bony plate, that cover most of the body and a row of soft flexible scales that runs down each side. This row is visible as a slight depression. Unlike snakes, glass lizards have eyelids and external ear openings.
Glass lizards eat crickets, grasshoppers, spiders, and other invertebrates.
The Eastern Slender Glass Lizard
, Ophisaurus attenuatus longicaudus
, is found statewide. Reaching a length of 42", it has a dark stripe down the middle of it's back and several stripes along its sides.
The Island Glass Lizard
, Ophisaurus compressus
, is found on coastal dunes and in sandy areas throughout the peninsula though most commonly in the eastern Everglades. It is tan to light brown with a dark stripe down each side and may have a faint stripe down its back. White vertical zigzags may mark the neck and extend along the sides. It reaches a length of 25".
The Mimic Glass Lizard
, Ophisaurus mimicus
, is found in pine savannas in the panhandle. It is light tan to golden brown with several stripes. It may reach a length of 8".
The Eastern Glass Lizard
, Ophisaurus ventralis
, is found throughout the state in moist grassy areas. Juveniles are tan with a dark stripes. Older adults are black with emerald green spots, a bright yellow underside, and may reach 42.5" in length. It burrows in loose dirt, often going as far as a foot underground.
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