The spindle is fragile. Legless Snake Lizard
A small lizard, similar to a snake, was first described by Karl Linney. The spelling name of the spindle suggests that the shape of the body resembles a spindle, and the ability to discard the tail has added the fragility characteristic. Among reptiles, inhabitants of terrariums, it is found more often than others since ancient times for its beautiful appearance and complaisant character.
Description and Features
The folk name tinsel, due to its copper color, has brought many trials to the life of the small lizard. The confusion with the coppers, a snake-like snake, added risks when meeting a person. It is not difficult for a biologist to distinguish a legless lizard from a string of snakes. But the layman regards the appearance and behavior of the reptile as threatening.
The body length of the reptile is within 30-45 cm, of which 2/3 is the tail. The difference between males in brown spots on a brown back in 2 rows. The females have an even color of a pale bronze hue, the tail is shorter.
The abdomen and sides can be light or contrasting chocolate to black. In young individuals, everything is different. Attractive creamy back, sometimes with a silver-white tint, is decorated with stripes. The appearance of juveniles is so different from adult individuals that in the 19th century they were assigned to a different species.
Among legless lizards, full albinos are found. They are easy to recognize by their whitish color and red eyes. Rare specimens manage to survive only thanks to a secretive lifestyle. There are individuals-melanists, completely black.
The spindle has an interesting structure. It is visually difficult to determine the boundary between the body and the tail. No sternum, no paws. The sacral vertebra, small ribs, and traces of legs are expressed only by small bones. The tongue is short, with a bifurcation at the end.
You can distinguish a fragile spindle from snakes by the main signs:
- the body is covered with smooth scales, indistinguishable in shape on the back and abdomen;
- the presence of a moving eyelid, the ability to blink.
In snakes, everything is different: a fixed look and greatly expanded scales on the belly. But in behavior, the harmless lizard seems to imitate a dangerous congener. In minutes of danger or fear
- hisses, opens his mouth with an imitation of threat;
- wriggles and shows willingness to throw at the enemy.
Many are mistaken, believing that in front of them is a poisonous snake, and not spindle tree. Description caught lizards proves that they are not aggressive. Thorns do not even bite with sharp teeth, and in captivity they take food from the owner's hands.
Spindle tree distributed in Europe, Asia Minor, the Caucasus, Iran, Algeria. It occurs at an altitude of up to 2300 m. The range is stretched from the southern to the northern regions due to the temperature plasticity of reptiles.
Lizard settles in mixed or deciduous forests, often appears on the edges, fields and meadows. He likes moist areas with low vegetation, with overgrown shrubs. It prefers shaded places, only sometimes basking in the sun, far from moving away from the main shelter. In the spring it is active during the day, in the summer - at night.
Legless lizard spindle conducts winter hibernation at a temperature of 8-10 ° C in deep holes along with relatives. In a collective wintering gathers up to 30 individuals. Dig lizard moves with their heads, going deeper to 50-70 cm. Cases of spindles staying in frosts down to -6 ° C ended successfully. All survived, and traces of frostbite quickly passed.
Lizards are characterized by a settled life. The radius of their food allotments is small, several meters. Even offspring are not removed a great distance from their site. Spindles can swim. But they have little strength, so immersion in water is only forced.
In nature, for many inhabitants among birds of prey, badgers, hedgehogs, foxes, martens, a tidbit is spindle tree. Snake mobile and dangerous, and the lizard is slow and defenseless.
Her salvation is in old stumps, under deadwood deposits, in loose soil, in forest litter. It is difficult to observe a spindle-hole in wildlife. You can see it in cloudy weather when earthworms creep out, the main food of lizards.
On fishing creeps out at night, at night. Weak eyesight and slowness make lizards bad hunters. The English call them slow-moving worms. Seeking prey is helped by a keen sense of smell with a forked tongue.
In motion, the body and tail are bent by the wave, but the bone shell prevents this. Its function is protection against sharp stones, prickly thickets. It happens that fragile spindle hiding in an anthill. Scales reliably protect the body from bites of disturbed inhabitants.
Earlier legless spindle I didn’t avoid a person. The first among the reptiles mastered terrariums. Gradually, the distribution of lizards decreased due to an excess of chemical fertilizers, pollination with pesticides.
It is easy to tame a copper flask. In the collections of herpetologists spindle tree. Buy Lizard is easy in a specialized nursery.
Slow worms and slugs are in the main diet of the tartar. It is not difficult to get them. The victim is first examined by the tongue, then swallowed. Eating lasts a long time.
Fodders are woodlice, caterpillars, cockroaches, crickets, millipedes, insect larvae, snails, which the lizard pulls with its teeth from the shells. There is no plant food in the diet.
In terrariums, cases of eating young animals of their own species and young snakes were observed. Dimensions do not scare the lizards. They are able to swallow an individual half their own.
Sometimes two spindles attack the worm from two sides and spin it in different directions, breaking the prey. The sharp teeth of the lizards bent back hold the food tight. In captivity it is not difficult to feed the flocks. You can dilute the main feed with pieces of the liver, flour worm, zofabas larvae.
Reproduction and longevity
In captivity, offspring can only be obtained from pregnant females caught in nature. Marital behavior is not well understood. It is known that males in the search for mates are aggressive, in the spring they engage in battles for females.
Pregnancy of viviparous spindle lasts up to 3 months. Offspring from 5 to 25 lizards appear in late summer, early fall. From a secluded place after the appearance, the kids immediately creep in all directions.
Newborn aphids feed on small soil inhabitants. In the first year of existence, the size of the spindle doubles. Puberty is achieved only in the 3rd year of life, when the body length of the tinker will be at least 25 cm.
Lives spindle lizard in nature 10-12 years, if it does not become prematurely prey to their enemies. In terrariums, a safe environment, long-livers are found, from 20 to 30 years.
The record for long habitation is 54 years. In the diversity of nature, a small defenseless inhabitant with the appearance of a formidable snake attracts interest by the uniqueness of its appearance and habitat.