• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco


San Francisco Alligator Lizard

San Francisco Alligator Lizard
A San Francisco Alligator Lizard from the coast of Monterey County.
Courtesy of californiaherps.com, © G. Nafis

Natural History: This lizard species requires more humid conditions than its related species, the California (Southern) Alligator Lizard. It is active during the day. Young are born in August and September. Some populations gregariously hibernate.

General Distribution: In the Presidio this species is found primarily in annual and serpentine grasslands, coastal and dune scrub, forests, developed and riparian areas. It has been spotted in the Lobos Creek Area.

Frequency: This animal is common within the Presidio.

Identifying Characteristics: The San Francisco Alligator Lizard is typically a tan, olive, or golden brown body with large, dark blotches or irregular cross-bands on its back. It is fairly small in size and has dusky sides.

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Did You Know?

U.S. Army major rank insignia

In 1915, a tragic fire at the Presidio claimed the lives of General Pershing’s wife and his three daughters. Pershing's son, Francis Warren, survived the blaze and chose to enlist in the army as a private during World War II. By the end of the war he had achieved the rank of major.