Scientific Name: Pseudopus apodus
The scheltopusik is distinguishable from a snake by its eye lids, ear holes and the long groove down each side of its body. Although, like other lizards, it can shed its tail when under threat, it generally prefers not to, and will twist, hiss or bite to prevent this.
Although it might look like a snake, the scheltopusik is a legless lizard, and is sometimes known by its other name, the European glass lizard. The lizard grows to 1.35 metres and is usually tan coloured with a paler head and underbelly. It has two tiny legs, or leg stubs near its cloaca at the base of the tail.
European mainland to Central Asia. The scheltopusik prefers light woods, scrubby vegetation and rocky outcrops. Although it favours dry areas, it will come out after rain to hunt for snails and slugs.
Snails, slugs, insects, eggs and occasionally very small mammals and birds.
Females lay about 8 eggs some 10 weeks after mating. The eggs are often hidden in a crevice and guarded by the female. After about 50 days the young hatch and are 15 cm long.