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

    Presidio of San Francisco

    California

California Alligator Lizard

California Alligator Lizard
A California Alligator Lizard similar to those at the Presidio.
Courtesy of californiaherps.com, © G. Nafis
 

Natural History: This species has a low requirement for water and is primarily active during the day. It tends to be active at cooler temperatures than other lizards. Its eggs are laid in June, and hatchlings are present from August through September.

General Distribution: Within the Presidio, this reptile is typically found in annual and serpentine grasslands, coastal scrub areas, dune scrub areas, forests, and developed areas.

Frequency: This reptile, unlike its relative, the San Francisco Alligator Lizard is uncommon within the Presidio.

Identifying Characteristics: California Alligator Lizard is characterized by a brown, gray, or reddish color with dark stripes on its belly and dark crossbands on its back and tail. It has pale yellow eyes, a long tail, and red blotches on its back.

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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.