May 6, 2009

Alligator Lizard

Alligator lizard, photo by Rosemary West © 2009
We see a lot of lizards in this area. This is a southern alligator lizard (Elgaria multicarinata), a little over a foot long, relaxing in my driveway. Some individuals will grow to twice this length. These reptiles eat insects and snails, occasionally smaller lizards or bird eggs. If grabbed by a predator, the tail will break off easily, enabling the lizard to escape. (However, I have seen cats temporarily distracted by the tail who then went on to capture and eat the lizard.) The tail will regenerate to some extent, but the new tail will never have the length or beauty of its predecessor. This lucky little guy still has his original tail.

Alligator lizard, photo by Rosemary West © 2009

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