Eastern Glass Lizard

Many would question how a lizard could be confused with a snake until they saw an Eastern Glass Lizard. Glass Lizards, though long and legless, are very different from snakes. Their moveable eyelids, external ear openings, inflexible jaws, and deep grooves on its sides separate them from their reptilian counterpart. It is the only limbless lizard in the US.

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Though found throughout southern and eastern Georgia and South Carolina, the Eastern Glass Lizard is more common on the Costal Plain from Southeastern Virginia through Florida, and west to Louisiana. Their most common habitat is that of flatwoods and the area around wetlands. They can even be found in costal dunes, as well as under debris at the tide line.

The name “Glass Lizard” is thought to come from its tendency to “shatter” or break off its tail when seized as a defense mechanism. Though it is a myth that they can reattach their tails, they will regenerate their tails over time. From the nose to the base of the tail, it can measure up to 12 inches in length, and including the tail, up to almost 43 inches. When complete, the tail is more than twice as long as the body.Their diet consists mainly of insects, spiders, and other invertebrate, but if necessary they will also eat small reptiles and rodents.

While the Eastern Glass Lizard’s population is stable throughout its range, intensive urban and agriculture development, including wetland draining, threatens its habitat.