Animal of the Week



03 May 2018

Related Subject Area:
Animal Studies


This weeks animal of the week is the European Glass Lizard. They are also known as Scheltopusik and can reach a length of 135 cm (4.43 ft). It is usually an earth brown colour, paler on the underside and the head, with a ring-like/segmented appearance that makes it look wormlike. They have a distinctive fold of skin down each side called a lateral groove. Small (2 mm) rear legs are sometimes visible near the cloaca. They can be distinguished from a snake by its ears, eyelids, and ventral scales.

Their natural habitat ranges from open country, such as short grassland or sparsely wooded hills to forested areas with lots of low scrubby vegetation and rock outcrops. Humidity should be moderate with occasional spraying. As ground dwellers with a tendency to burrow they should be given an appropriate substrate, hiding places, branches and rocks for climbing on and hiding under.

Due to its size, the Scheltopusik tends to respond to harassment by hissing, biting, and musking. It is less likely to drop off its tail than some other species that display caudal autotomy but if it does it can break into pieces and grows back shorter and darker.

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