Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Reptiles & amphibians

Snake eyed lizard (Ophisops elegans)


The snake-eyed lizard is a small, slender lizard with a slightly flattened head and a narrow, pointed snout. Its tail is long, making up about two-thirds of the lizards total length. The eye is covered by a transparent spectacle like that of a snakes. The eye cannot be closed, but the spectacle may sometimes be pulled briefly downwards to clean off dust and dirt. The body of the snake-eyed lizard is generally olive-brown with two lighter, greenish stripes running along its length. The stripes are bordered by dark brown or black spots, giving a marble effect.


A ground-dwelling species, the snake-eyed lizard is typically found in open and arid plains, cultivated fields and stony hillsides, in areas with sparse vegetation or low shrubs. It is also able to survive on almost bare ground and uses rocks and bare ground to regulate its body temperature. This species appears to be well adapted to withstand hot environments.


It feeds mainly on small arthropods such as spiders, beetles and hymenoptera.

Protection status

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

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