Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Reptiles & amphibians

European glass lizard (Pseudopus apodus)

Description

At first, the European glass lizard may look like a snake, but it is actually a limbless lizard. You can distinguish it from a snake by the little holes on each side of its head, which are ears. You cannot find those on snakes. There is a prominent groove that runs down the flanks of the lizard, setting it apart from other limbless lizard species. Its body is thick and robust. It also can shed its tail to escape predators.

Habitat

You can find this species typically in dry habitats, often around rocky outcrops, woods, stone walls and embankments.

Diet

This lizard eats large invertebrates such as snails, arthropods, and small vertebrates like mice and other lizards. It will also eat bird eggs.

Protection status

This species is listed as “Least Concern” by IUCN Red List.

Interesting Fact

These occasional displays of caudal anatomy are responsible for the name “glass lizard”. The released tail may break into pieces, leading to the myth that the lizard can shatter like glass.

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