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a family of reptiles of the suborder of lizards. Some species have the typical lizard build, while others have small or underdeveloped legs, with a more or less elongated body; some lack legs entirely and look like snakes. The tongue is short and is forked at the tip. The eyelids are well developed and mobile. There are seven genera, comprising approximately 60 species. They are most widespread in Central America. The genus Anguis of the family Anguidae contains only one species, the blindworm (A. fragilis), which has an apodal body up to 60 cm long. It is widely distributed in Europe and Asia (east to the river Tobol); there are none in the steppe region and in the Crimea. The reptiles feed on mollusks, earthworms, and insects. They are oviviparous. The genus Ophisaurus comprises six species, including the common yellow belly (O. apodus), an apodal lizard more than 1 meter long. The genus Gerrhonotus is distributed in Central and North America; representatives of this genus have well-developed limbs.
REFERENCESTerent’ev, P. V. Gerpetologiia. Moscow, 1961.
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 4, part 2. Moscow, 1969.