Things Are Not Always as They Appear

Met this Eastern Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus ventralis) in my backyard a couple days ago. At first glance I presumed it was a small snake, thankfully it let me take a photo before moving under my wood pile. A bit of research and I was surprised to learn this was actually one of the two legless lizard species found here in Florida.

The vertical white bars behind the head differentiate this one from the Slender Glass Lizard. The glass part of the name comes from their ability to break or shatter their tail as needed.

Unlike snakes, legless lizards have moveable eye lids and external ear openings but they lack flexible jaws (which limits the size of their prey). While they can reach lengths up to 42″ this one was relatively small (about 15″) so it probably eats mostly insects. A welcome addition to my yard for sure!

Categories: Nature Notes

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