Ophiosaurus gracilis

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Burmese glass lizard
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Anguidae
Genus: Ophisaurus
Species: O. gracilis
Binomial name
Ophisaurus gracilis
(Gray, 1845)

The Burmese glass lizard or Asian glass lizard, Ophisaurus gracilis, is a species of legless lizard found in northeastern India, southern China, northern Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and also in northern Bangladesh.


From C. A. L. Gunther (1864) The Reptiles of British India:

This species is very closely allied to its European congener, differing, however, from it by the total absence of the rudimentary, scale-like hind limbs of that species. From the North American Glass Snake it differs in having the palatine teeth small, and arranged in a very narrow band. The upper surface of its head is covered with a large vertical plate and three smaller occipitals behind, the space between the vertical and the rostral being filled up by about five pairs of rather irregular frontals of unequal size; the superciliaries are arranged in two series. The dorsal scales form fourteen longitudinal scries, each scries with a slight continuous keel; the ventral scales arc smooth, in ten series. The upper parts are brown, with some irregular black spots across the back. The typical specimen is from the Khasya Hills, 15 inches long, the tail measuring 10. We may infer, from its close resemblance to Pseudopus patiasii, that its habits arc similar. It probably lives in dry places, under stones, feeding on small lizards, mice, &c* The scaly covering of the upper and lower parts is so tight, that it docs not admit of the same extension as in snakes or other lizards, and the Pseudopus, therefore, could not receive the same quantity of food in its stomach as those animals were it not for the expansible fold of the skin running along each side of its trunk. Whilst in other Saurians the whole skin of the belly and of the sides is extensible, the extensibility here is limited to a separate part of the skin.


  • Blyth, E. 1854 Notices and descriptions of various reptiles, new or little-known. Part I. J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal 22 [1853]: 639-655
  • Campden-Main, Simon M. 1970 The first record of Ophisaurus gracilis (Gray) (Sauria: Anguidae) in South Vietnam Herpetologica 26 (1): 17-18
  • Gray, J. E. 1845 Catalogue of the specimens of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Trustees of die British Museum/Edward Newman, London: xxvii + 289 pp.

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