Monday, April 19, 2010

From the Lizard Files: Alligators

We see a lot of lizards, but it's news when we see an alligator lizard. I found this one Sunday while pulling weeds in a damp area of the yard. He's twisted up here in the bottom of a bucket getting ready to spring to freedom.

Check out the regenerated tail. These lizards can drop their tails when threatened and scamper away from danger leaving the tail behind to wriggle around and occupy the would-be threat. The tail then grows back, but as you can see here, looks a bit different from the original.

I looked back in my lizard file and saw this alligator my son caught two years ago and kept in a lizard habitat for a couple of days. You can see here how long their tails really are.

Another of the alligators we've seen. I think this is maybe a teenage alligator lizard.

Mostly we see fence lizards like this one I saw yesterday.

And I had to put up this fence lizard from the files. As you might gather from comparing the photos above -- alligator lizards have notoriously bad dispositions and are prone to bite while sleepy-eyed fence lizards tend to be more placid. In fact, the guy or gal above looks a little like Elmo.


Gina said...

We have at least two alligator lizards living in a pile of arroyo stones in our potting shed.

I am thrilled by them - a little bit of wildlife in the city. I suspect they also help keep the population of insects down.

Cafe Observer said...

You moved to a lizard/alligator neighborhood? I guess you could find worse neighbors.

Michael Coppess said...

Gina: Thanks for stopping by. Kind of fun to have this kind of stuff in your yard! Pasadena's definitely an urban place, but I'm constantly amazed at how close we are to the wild too.

Hi Cafe: We and the lizards get along just fine. Can't say the same for the cats and lizards though. To cats, lizards are fun and games; an irresistable attraction.

Shenandoah bed and breakfast said...

Well, I really scared after see these lizards mostly this kind of lizard founded in North American areas in grasslands, chaparral, and forests as well as urban areas. In dry climates, it is likely to be found in moisture areas or near streams.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I like the lizards I come cross on the trails who at a distance you think are a snake. They're very long and they lay flat and straight with their arms and legs pulled in next to their bodies. Is that an alligator lizard? It sort of looks like this one