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Western Slender Glass Lizard

Ophisaurus attenuatus


First off, its a lizard without legs! But it does have eyelids and ears, 2 obvious characteristics that tell you it's not a snake. The tail on these guys is very long, and they'll drop it like lizards do if they think they need to in order to get away from you. Dorsal patterns vary, but typically have these long dark and light alternating stripes. Like skink-relatives, they're also very glossy and smooth.


These guys tend to like grasslands. Ophisaurus are not the only skink-like lizards to lose their legs, and one thing about nearly all legless lizards is that they evolved in grasslands where legs just trip you up. They do also burrow though, so I also tend to find them in places where they had to come above ground in order to cross a road or trail.


Look up Lialis lizards in AU for another legless lizard example. This one was found on the Aransas NWR.

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AshleyT 8 years ago

That's cool! I've only seen one bat, and it was found in a snake trap and was pretty much dead, we think it was rabid :( I'd love to see more bats some time!

sunswimer02 8 years ago

I'm actually doing my project on forest bats. It's going to be exciting! My sites are all on Refuges so it'll be nice to stay with the family (so to say). No Indiana bats, but we might get some of Raf's big-eared bats.

AshleyT 8 years ago

I'll be working on my grad project this summer too :) What are you doing yours over? And next winter break I could come down, and the whooping cranes should be back then too!
Thanks for the info on the glass lizards, I will remember that!

sunswimer02 8 years ago

Hey! I wouldn't say "often" but every year in October I do about a week of searching to collect herps for a display table during our Refuge Week, and I have been able to find one for the past 3 years. Whenever I'm not really looking for them, I tend to see them crossing roads or escaping an Rx burn.
I would say that if you want to spend some time somewhere that's its more likely, see if you can hitch a ride over to Matagorda Island and take a bike with you. Just ride down middle road, and I would say that would be your most likely chance of finding one with the least amount of effort. Also, you'll see a bunch of other cool animals really easily. The hardest part is getting a ride to MI (since there aren't any bridges, you have to go by boat, and there isn't a public ferry). But if you can get there, it's worth it. I'm actually going to be working on my own grad project this summer, so I wont be at Aransas...

AshleyT 8 years ago

Do you find these often? Glass lizards are amazing, and I would love to find one! I may make it down to Aransas this summer, if you have any secret spots for stuff I'd love if you would show me! I've heard Aransas is a great place for so many different kinds of wildlife!

Spotted by

Texas, USA

Spotted on Aug 18, 2012
Submitted on Feb 18, 2013

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