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European legless lizard (Τυφλίτης)

Ophisaurus apodus


The sheltopusik, also spelled scheltopusik, or European legless lizard (Pseudopus apodus) is a large glass lizard found from southern Europe to Central Asia. This lizard can reach a length of 135 cm. It has a tan coloration, paler on the ventral surface and the head, with a ring-like/segmented appearance that makes it look like a giant earthworm with a distinctive fold of skin down each side called a lateral groove. Small (2 mm) rear legs are sometimes visible near the cloaca. Though the legs are barely discernible, they can be quickly distinguished from a snake by their ears, eyelids, and ventral scales. It was spotted in open grassland, near Kala Nera village, Pagasitikos gulf, Greece.


This lizard inhabits open country such as short grassland or sparsely wooded hills. The scheltopusik consumes arthropods and small mammals. Snails and slugs appear to be its favorite prey, which may explain why it is particularly active in wet weather, although it prefers a dry habitat.


The species is protected by the Greek law.

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1 Comment

maplemoth662 2 years ago

Four, very pretty photos....

Θεσσαλία - Στερεά Ελλάδα, Greece

Spotted on Jun 12, 2016
Submitted on Jun 13, 2016

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