Ophisaurus ventralis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Anguidae

Scientific Name: Ophisaurus ventralis (Linnaeus, 1766)
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Glass Lizard
Taxonomic Notes: Prior to 1954 (McConkey 1954), all glass lizards (including species now known as Ophisaurus attentuatus, O. compressus, and O. mimicus) were referred to as Ophisaurus ventralis.

Molecular data support recognition of the family Anniellidae and anguid subfamilies Gerrhonotinae and Anguinae as monophyletic groups (Macey et al. 1999). Within the Anguinae, Ophisaurus apparently is not monophyletic; among various taxonomic alternatives available to remedy the situation, Macey et al. (1999) favoured placing all members of the subfamily in a single genus (Anguis).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This lizard is endemic to the southeastern United Statesa. Its range includes the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States from southeastern Virginia to southern Florida, and west to eastern Louisiana (Conant and Collins 1991). The species was once reported from Grand Cayman Island, Cayman Islands, where it is introduced and possibly established (Schwartz and Henderson 1991).
Countries occurrence:
United States
Present - origin uncertain:
Cayman Islands
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is represented by many populations. Palmer and Braswell (1995) mapped well over 100 localities in North Carolina alone. The total adult population size is unknown but probably exceeds 100,000. This is the most abundant, least habitat specific, and most commonly encountered species of glass lizard in Florida (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). It is locally common in North Carolina (Palmer and Braswell 1995) and is by far the most common glass lizard on the Coastal Plain of Alabama (Mount 1975). Its area of occupancy and abundance have probably declined somewhat over the long-term in regions with intensive urban or agricultural development, but the current rate of decline is probably small.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Habitats include moist and dry areas (especially the former), including damp grassy areas, maritime forests, open and scrubby woods (mesic hammock, pine flatwoods), vacant lots in coastal towns (Schwartz and Henderson 1991, Palmer and Braswell 1995, Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). This lizard can be found under debris in fields and vacant lots near ponds, marshes, and estuaries. It favours areas with sandy friable soils and abundant shelter on ground. It is regarded as semi-fossorial. Eggs are laid under or at base of grass clumps (Ashton and Ashton 1985) or under debris on ground (Mount 1975).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat is presumably intensive land development. The species is somewhat tolerant of moderate habitat disturbance.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in many protected areas.

Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Ophisaurus ventralis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T63721A12710178. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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