Glass lizards get their name from the ability to break off all or part of their tail when seized by a predator. The tail makes up more than half of their total length, so the predator is easily distracted by the squirming tail while the lizard escapes. The tail regrows over a period of months or years.
They spend most of their lives burrowing through soil and piles of leaves in search of food. They eat a wide variety of insects, spiders, and other invertebrates, as well as small reptiles.
In early summer, the female lays several eggs in a protected spot, which she then guards until the eggs hatch later in the summer.