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Legless Lizard Care - Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:09 pm
by Laceflower
I recently obtained a Giant Russian Legless Lizard who I've named Maynard. His age is unknown, but he's extremely intelligent and interactive. I've done a ton of reading, but keepers seem to be pretty individualized in their approach to keeping these guys. He's doing great, but I have a few questions about care. I know they aren't super common, but I was hoping maybe someone here has some experience with them. Here's my setup:
48"x24"x24" enclosure
Substrate: Topsoil/playsand mix. Depth of 6"
Temps: 85-88F hot end w/ 75F cool end
Standard UV bulb setup
Humidity: 60-80%
12hr day/night cycle
Climbing branches, large hide, rocks, cork bark, cork rounds, plants, etc. for enrichment
Feedings: Every other/every two days (whenever he'll accept food). Given as many crickets and/or mealworms as he can consume in 10 minutes.

Any advice would be VERY much appreciated. He's very precocious and seems genuinely happy and secure in his tank, but I can't help feeling that something might could be done better - he's almost too easy! Haha. Thanks in advance for any help you could offer. Have some photos for funsies.

Re: Legless Lizard Care - Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:36 pm
by kingofnobbys
Can't help with his care , but I really like legless lizards as a variety ....

.... have ypu tried contacting the local reptile parks / zoo's reptile keepers , they are often only too happy to answer questions regarding care of animals , especially rare and unusual ones (in captivity such as your's probably is).

Have you seen this ... -Sheet.pdf .
My Googlefu is strong , is a link to heltopusik Care Sheet. (Common Name: Sheltopusik, European Glass Lizard, Giant Russian Legless Lizard .
Also found ... eltopusik/ , apparently Gosford Reptile Park have some .... here is their email address , the keepers there are very approachable - I've had dealings with them in the past and they were happy to help.

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.

Maybe if you put up detailed information on how you are caring for him it might help kindle some interest from other legless lizard keepers , though I expect they are few and far between .

Re: Legless Lizard Care - Questions

Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:03 am
by Laceflower
Hiya! Thanks for the reply. Yep, I've done (or attempted to do) everything you've suggested. The Tennessee Aquarium's herpetarium has one, and I've emailed and called in inquiries as to his care with no luck. As for the article, I'll give it a read. I found a few care sheets online that either a) weren't very detailed, b) all said something different, or c) glossed over things like humidity, so a lot of his care has come from researching the climate of his native habitat. He's a very perky animal with a great apetite. His only flaws are a couple of knicks and bumps that he came to me with which I am treating, and which is also why I adopted him more or less, as I didn't trust his previous keepers. I'm trying to do the best I can for him, so thanks for the help! I'll definitely send out some emails to the places you suggested as well!