Facts about Scheltopusik Lizard. "Scientific name for Scheltopusik Lizard is Ophisaurus apodus". Resembling a glass snake found in southern America, Scheltopusik is a type of a lizard belonging to the genus Pseudopus with no legs though two rudimentary limbs (two millimeters in length) found near the tail base are present. It can be differentiated from a snake by taking a close look at its ears and eyelids, which are both absent in snakes. The Scheltopusik Lizard is resident to many parts of the world ranging from Europe to Asia but it is known to be a native of central Asia. Many of other lizards in the same genus as Scheltopusik also have diminished limbs and thus termed legless. The name Scheltopusik is derived from Russian word, which means a yellow belly.
Physical appearance and description of Scheltopusik Lizard
A mature Scheltopusik Lizard can grow to a maximum length of 135 centimeters (53 inches). It is folded laterally allowing it to be differentiated from other lizards in the same family. A mature Scheltopusik Lizard has a uniform coloration, which ranges from yellow to dark brown. The trunk has powerful muscles to counter for the absence of legs (this has enabled normal locomotion). Diamond shaped scales cover the body. The rings around its hardy skin in the body harbor the scales.
Behavior of Scheltopusik Lizard
When frightened, unlike other anguids, the Scheltopusik Lizard will not drop its tail very easily, however, it may hiss, twist, or even result to biting. In other anguids, the presence of a fracture plane, which Scheltopusik Lizards do lack, is the responsible for dropping of the tail. They are burrowing reptiles and can burrow into mulch-like material in order to hide from its predators and to assure itself of security. The Scheltopusik Lizard is sensitive to changes in temperature. In the summer, they seek cooler environs when it overheats and they are constantly known to hibernate during the winter when freezing can be severe.
Habitat of Scheltopusik Lizard
Scheltopusik Lizard just like many other lizards prefers shrubs, woody areas, and rocky places. Dry places do favor their growth but during rainy seasons, they do move out from their burrows to search for food. The Scheltopusik Lizard is thus mostly found in Western Europe and parts of Asia which have the appropriate conditions for its growth.
Reproduction of Scheltopusik Lizard
Shortly after hibernation, mainly from the month of March to April the male and the female Scheltopusik Lizard will mate. They hibernate during the onset of winter in the month of August and thus can only be bred once. Under conditions of enough food supply, a female Scheltopusik Lizard can lay up to a maximum of twelve eggs once. Eggs are laid exactly ten weeks after mating and are hidden in a crevice in rocks or they can also be hidden in burrows. The female Scheltopusik Lizard then guards the eggs, which then hatch after approximately 50 days. The hatch-lings measure about 4 inches (10 cm) in length and the young ones can now live for an approximate of 20 years.
Diet of Scheltopusik Lizard
It primarily feeds on snails and slugs after the onset of rains. The Scheltopusik Lizard can also feed on other small animals such as small mammal, other lizards, eggs, and small birds when its primary meal is not readily available.