Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Baby Alligator Lizards

Alligator lizard eggs hatch in late summer and early fall and it is about this time each year that I see these young alligator lizards with their amazing tails.  

Unless eaten by a cat, hawk, snake or another lizard, these young alligators will grow to maturity in about 18 months and reach possibly 16-20 inches long including their tails.  They'll eat a lot of insects along the way and will develop markings on their back.  They will probably lose their tails, grow a new tail, and grow up to look like this:

So, there's my 2011 lizard post.  


Petrea Burchard said...

We can always depend on you, Michael.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

These guys often frighten me when I'm not paying attention to the trail. They kind of look like sticks or snakes until they move. Then I've never seen them without the long tail like your third photo. Looks almost like it was grafted on. So interesting.

Latino Heritage said...

I agree with Pasadena Adjacent. If we're both at the same movement level we're fine, when they skitter and surprise I lightly shriek.
You've caught their personality beautifully.

Bellis said...

I met one on the trail the other day that I at first mistook for a snake - it had a really long tail, and was a very large, long, animal altogether. I love them, but like the others, they scare me at first. Their movements are very snake-like.