Mimic Glass Lizard

Ophisaurus mimicus (State Status: SH; presumed extirpated)


While similar in appearance to snakes, stark differences in legless lizards are observed upon closer inspection. Glass or legless lizards have eyelids, ear canals, and noticeable folds along the sides. Mimic Glass Lizards are the smallest of the glass lizard species in Mississippi. They have a dark middorsal stripe that fades anteriorly. This species is uncommon and was recently described (Palmer, 1987), and resemble the morphology of slender glass lizards (see Identifying Traits). They are found in the pine savanna region of southern Mississippi. They may represent one of a handful of extirpated herpetofauna from the state.

Adult O. mimicus, Florida, © Jake Scott

Identifying Traits

  • Shorter body with dark line that fades as it approaches the head
  • 3-4 rows of lines or spots above groove separated by light stripes (Powell et al., 2016)
  • Generally darker patterning on head than Slender Glass Lizard


Pine savanna and sandhill habitats (specialist)


Easily detaches its tail as a defensive maneuver and will thrash when grabbed


Various invertebrates like spiders, grasshoppers, crickets (LeClere & Rouw, 2013)

Closeup of head, Florida, © Jake Scott
© Jake Scott