Eastern Glass Lizard

When the glass lizard loses its tail it can grow another one. But the new tail lacks the markings of the old one and is usually shorter.
Eastern Glass Lizard Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Ophisaurus ventralis
Eastern Glass Lizard Physical Characteristics
Brown, Yellow, Black, White, Green
Lifespan of 10 to 30 years
Top speed
4 mph
11 to 21 ounces
Eastern Glass Lizard Distribition

” It’s a lizard, not a snake!”

Wondering why this legless lizard really did not simply go on and develop into a snake is past the extent of this post, however Ophisaurus ventralis is significantly a lizard. It blinks, it has ears, and it can just open its mouth so large to ingest a dish. A lot of its body is comprised of a tail, which is privileged due to the fact that the lizard has actually developed to drop its tail to avert capture. Discovered just in the American south, streamlined and quite in shades of eco-friendly, brownish, tan, and white, it also makes an excellent pet for some individuals. Keep reading to read more concerning the eastern glass lizard.

5 Unbelievable Eastern Glass Lizard Truths!

Below are 5 outstanding realities concerning the interesting eastern glass lizard.

  • Prior To 1954, all glass lizards were taken into consideration to be O. ventralis
  • It’s the only species in Ophisaurus that has eco-friendly amongst its various other shades.
  • From Time To Time you’ll discover a specific with vestigial back legs.
  • The eastern glass lizard is the lengthiest and heaviest glass lizard in its variety.
  • The glass lizard does not wriggle like a snake however requires to utilize its sides to press off of challenge obtain relocating. This can be challenging if the reptile is stranded on a freeway.

Scientific Name

This glass lizard’s scientific name is Ophisaurus ventralis The genus name originates from the Greek words ophio which suggests “snake” and sauros, which suggests “lizard.” Ventralis is Latin and suggests “of the stubborn belly.” This explains exactly how the animal actions. There are just one species and no subspecies.


The eastern glass lizard is uncommon due to the fact that it is a legless lizard that many individuals could error for a snake. Yet if you look carefully, you will certainly see 2 small earholes and you might see the lizard blink. Ear openings and eyelids are recognition pens that divide also a legless lizard from a snake that does not have ears and does not blink. The form of the reptile’s head is one more means to distinguish it from a snake, for the glass lizard has a rather longer head and an extra sharp nose than many snakes have. It likewise can not unbalance its jaw to put away huge target.

The eastern glass lizard expands to in between 18 and 43 inches in size, and the majority of that size is comprised of the tail, which can be two times as lengthy as the body. When it comes to both legless lizards and snakes, the tail starts when the spinal column no more has rib bones. The body of this species of glass lizard likewise has a groove on each side, and the ranges on top and base of the body coincide dimension.

The lizard has smooth and rather shiny ranges that can be found in shades of brownish, eco-friendly, tan, and white with dark bespeckling. The stubborn belly is white and unmarked. Some samplings have a tan red stripe on the back that has to do with 6 ranges large and might remain to completion of the tail. Grownups in this species have white bars or marks on the sides of the neck and head and do not have red stripes listed below the side groove. This likewise differentiates them from various other sort of glass lizards.

The Eastern glass lizard, unlike a snake, has ear openings and blinks its eyes.

iStock.com/ Dan Rieck


The eastern glass lizard is a burrower that is usually energetic throughout the day and at sunset. It is commonly located under garbage, blossom pots, or thrown out boards and look for target both over and underground. On cozy days it will certainly bask, however just with component of its body subjected to the sunlight. The lizard hibernates in the wintertime after tunneling right into the dirt simply southern of the frost line.

Notoriously, if it is captured, a glass lizard might separate its tail which remains to twitch in the jaws or hand of whatever captured it. The tail commonly disintegrates, which is why the reptile is called the glass lizard. When there was a misconception that these items might expand back with each other, however it was located to be incorrect. The lizard does expand back a few of its tail, however this can take years, and the brand-new tail is a various shade than the remainder of the animal. It is uncommon to discover a wild glass lizard with an undamaged tail.

The lizard could likewise attempt to attack if it’s managed, however its bite is nonvenomous.


Eastern glass lizards are just located in the southeastern USA. As customers, they choose damp environments and can also be located at the coastline. They’re likewise located in yearn timbers, damp meadows, damp fields, and near marshes.


This lizard is a predator and generally consumes whatever animal it can manage. This can consist of participants of its species. It mainly consumes invertebrates from insects to crayfish to spiders to snails and millipedes, however it likewise consumes bird’s eggs and has actually been understood to eat young mice, snakes, and unassociated lizards.

The glass lizard locates its target via fragrance and vision. The one point that restricts its diet is that it can not unbalance its jaws to ingest huge prey the means a snake can. This is one more factor of recognition when it concerns informing the glass lizard from a snake.

Predators and Dangers

Though the glass lizard is itself an effective killer, it is likewise component of the diet of a selection of predators. They consist of predators, foxes, raccoons, snakes, and opossums. Wild pigs might eat the eggs. Various other dangers consist of environment interruption and website traffic mishaps, as it is challenging for the lizard to proceed a smooth roadway or freeway.

Reproduction and Life Process

Eastern glass lizards show up to mate in the springtime, and the female lays from 5 to 15 eggs in the summer season after digging deep into a nest in sand or soft loam under a log or leaves or various other product. When laid, she’ll coil around them. She will not protect the eggs, however if they are spread, she’ll roll them back right into the nest.

The eggs hatch out after 50 to 60 days and the children are independent at birth and get say goodbye to treatment from their mommy. They have to do with 6 to 8 inches long, tan- tinted, and have dark red stripes along their sides that will certainly discolor as they develop. These lizards have a life-span of in between 10 and three decades.


Researchers do not understand the precise populace of this lizard, however it prevails in places where it is located, and, according to IUCN, its conservation status is least concern.


  1. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_glass_lizard
  2. ITIS, Available here: https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=174110#null
  3. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory: UGA, Available here: https://srelherp.uga.edu/lizards/ophven.htm
  4. Virginia Herpetological Society, Available here: https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/reptiles/lizards/eastern-glass-lizard/eastern_glass_lizard.php
  5. Outdoor Alabama, Available here: https://www.outdooralabama.com/lizards/eastern-glass-lizard
  6. Amphibians and Reptiles of North Carolina, Available here: https://www.outdooralabama.com/lizards/eastern-glass-lizard
  7. African Conservation Experience, Available here: https://www.outdooralabama.com/lizards/eastern-glass-lizard
  8. Reptile Supply, Available here: https://reptilesupply.com/blogs/care-sheets/how-to-care-for-your-eastern-glass-lizard

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