Anguidae – Anguids

Bronze or grey, legs aren’t their forte

A reptile family comprising sleek and elongated lizards that exhibit a range of terrestrial, arboreal, and fossorial lifestyles. Notably, many species within this family feature reduced or completely absent limbs, adding to their unique appearance and adaptability to different environments. Representative species include glass lizards, alligator lizards, and slow worms, each with distinct characteristics contributing to their namesake.

Glass lizards, named for their glossy appearance, often exhibit bronze or grey coloring and possess scales supported by bony elements, resembling the texture of glass. Similarly, alligator lizards derive their name from the bony scales along their bodies, reminiscent of those found on alligators. These features, along with their elongated bodies, contribute to their striking appearance and predatory prowess.

Another notable characteristic of Anguidae species is their relatively slow movement, leading to the designation of some species as “slow worms.” This leisurely pace may be attributed to their elongated bodies and reduced limbs, limiting their mobility compared to other lizard species. Anguidae species are adept hunters despite their slow movement and can capture prey with surprising agility when necessary.

Unfortunately, many species within the Anguidae family, particularly those belonging to the genus Abronia, face threats from habitat destruction. Human activities such as deforestation and urbanization contribute to the loss of their natural habitats, placing these reptiles at risk of population decline and extinction.