Skip to main content
Select Source:

glass snake

glass snake, common name for the snakelike legless lizards of the genus Ophisaurus found in the S and central United States and in Eurasia. The shiny, scaled body is gray or greenish brown, sometimes striped above and whitish below. The American species, Ophisaurus ventralis, is 2 to 3 ft (60–90 cm) long; two thirds of the length is tail. The tail of a glass snake breaks easily from the body, either whole or in pieces, if struck; the lizard regenerates a new, usually shorter, tail without a real backbone. Like other lizards, and unlike snakes, the glass snake has eyelids and ear openings. Its tongue is broad. It feeds mostly on insects, worms, and slugs. A burrower, it lives in fields and meadows and seldom appears above ground in daylight. Glass snakes are classifed in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Anguidae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"glass snake." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"glass snake." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/glass-snake

"glass snake." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/glass-snake

Anguidae

Anguidae (lateral fold lizards, slow-worms, glass snakes; class Squamata, suborder Sauria) A family of reptiles whose members vary from four-legged lizards to legless snake-like forms (e.g. Anguis fragilis, the slow-worm or blindworm, and Ophisaurus apodus, the European glass lizard or glass snake). All have a forked tongue (unlike skinks of similar form), mobile eyelids, and tail autotomy. Some (e.g. A. fragilis) are ovoviviparous, others (e.g. O. apodus) egg-layers. There are about 40 species, found in America, Europe, Asia, and N. Africa.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Anguidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Anguidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/anguidae

"Anguidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/anguidae

glass snake

glass snake (glass lizard) Legless lizard found in North America, Eurasia, and Africa. The cylindrical body has a groove along each side and is mostly brown or green. Length: 60–120cm (24–48in). Family Anguidae; genus Ophisaurus.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"glass snake." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"glass snake." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/glass-snake

"glass snake." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/glass-snake

glass snake

glass snake (Ophisaurus apodus) See ANGUIDAE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"glass snake." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"glass snake." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/glass-snake

"glass snake." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/glass-snake