Ben here with the Friday edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!

Ben here with the Friday edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!

Ben here with the Friday edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!

We're closing out the first week of Herp Month with a look at our pick for the number one rarest lizard in Virginia: Ophisaurus ventralis, the eastern glass lizard!

Earlier this week, we looked at another glass lizard, the eastern slender glass lizard Ophisaurus attenuatus longicaudus. While that species can only be found in a handful of scattered locations in the eastern half of the state, today's species makes it look downright common in comparison. In fact, according to the Virginia Herpetological Society website, Ophisaurus ventralis was unknown in Virginia until 1981, when three researchers discovered the species in False Cape State Park of Virginia Beach! To date, Virginia Beach remains the only known locality in the Commonwealth where you can hope to find an eastern glass lizard.

Of course, like the green anole (Anolis carolinensis) that we looked at yesterday, the eastern glass lizard is fairly common outside of Virginia; it can be found throughout a large portion of the southeastern United States. Like the green anole, the Virginia Beach records seem to represent the northern limit of its range (at least for now, since climate change is causing a lot of southerly species to gradually expand their range northward).

I hope you've enjoyed the first week of Herp Month! Check back on Monday when we're going to start a countdown of the top five rarest frogs and toads in Virginia!

Thank you to the Virginia Herpetological Society ( for the use of this photo, which was taken by John White.

ABOUT #BenInNature
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends. This series of posts is made possible thanks to the support of VMNH Corporate Partner Carter Bank & Trust.

If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!

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