A rare eastern glass lizard (Ophisaurus ventralis) was found in the parking lot of SCCF’s Nature Center yesterday.
The only known specimen of the lizard, until 2012, was a roadkill from Lindgren Rd in 1959. After the rediscovery in 2012 of a single animal, they have been documented a few more times in the same general area near the center of the island. They are a burrowing, upland species that was likely repatriated to Sanibel through fill (dirt/sand) over the last decade or two. They are native to Florida and Lee County. Even though they do not have limbs, they are not a snake. Snakes do not have eyelids, external ears, or the ability to break off their tail to escape predators. They eat primarily insects and lay eggs.
The glass lizard was released on one of SCCF’s preserves this morning.