Definition of glass lizard in US English:

glass lizard


  • A legless burrowing lizard that resembles a snake, with smooth, shiny skin and an easily detached tail, native to Eurasia, Africa, and America.

    Genus Ophisaurus, family Anguidae: several species

    Also called glass snake
    • ‘The glass lizards get their name from their tails, which easily break off as if they were made of glass.’
    • ‘Among the interesting species introduced in these pages is a glass lizard that can break its tail into pieces that keep moving and distract a predator.’
    • ‘However, unlike snakes, eastern glass lizards have movable eyelids and external ear openings.’
    • ‘At first glance a glass lizard may be mistaken for a snake, but they have distinct differences.’
    • ‘If a predator grabs on to it, the glass lizard can break off the part of the tail the predator is holding on to.’
    • ‘The island glass lizard is a cryptic species and it is uncertain how widespread or common it is.’