The word “Scheltopusik” is Slavic, from the Russian word for “yellow belly.”
It is the largest legless lizard and can reach a length of about 135 cm.
The Sheltopusik is not completely legless.
It has tiny, rudimentary rear limbs, measuring about 2 millimeters, which can sometimes be seen near the cloaca.
Although it resembles a snake, the Sheltopusik is very much a lizard.
It has teeth like a lizard, not fangs like a snake and its scales are rough, and it has eyelids and ear holes, unlike snakes.
Lesvos, Greece, 2 May 2010