The slender glass lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus) is a legless, snake-like lizard (3) (4), which gains its common name from its highly fragile tail (4). When the lizard is captured by a predator, it shatters its tail into several pieces and detaches it from the rest of the body, allowing it to escape. The tail can be regenerated, although it is plain brown and much shorter than the original tail (3) (4) (5).
The long, slender body of the slender glass lizard is brown, bronze, tan or pale yellow, and there is a dark brown longitudinal line which runs down the middle of the back onto the tail (5). There is a wide, dark brown groove along each side of the body and tail, which has one or two dark, narrow lines beneath it (3) (5). The underside of the lizard is light yellow and usually lacks patterning (5), although it may be marked with dark brown stripes in some individuals (3).
The male slender glass lizard is larger than the female, but their appearance is mostly very similar. The juvenile is similar in appearance to the adult, although the stripe along the back is more distinctive (3).
There are two recognised subspecies of slender glass lizard: Ophisaurus attenuatus attenuatus and Ophisaurus attenuatus longicaudus (1) (6). These two subspecies are also known as the western slender glass lizard and the eastern slender glass lizard, respectively (2).
- Length: 56 - 106.7 cm (2)