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

    Presidio of San Francisco


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Western Fence Lizard

Western Fence Lizard
A Western Fence Lizard basks in dune scrub near Baker Beach.
Will Elder, NPS

Natural History: This is the most common reptile in California. It is primarily diurnal, seeking out basking and perching sites. It feeds on terrestrial invertebrates. The males defend territories in the spring, and the young hatch between July and September. On occasion, hibernating individuals aggregate in groups.

General Distribution: In the Presidio, this reptile is most commonly found in annual and serpentine grassland areas, forests, streams, coastal scrub areas, and developed areas.

Frequency: This lizard is fairly uncommon in the Presidio.

Identifying Characteristics: This lizard is characterized by a black, gray, or brown body with a blotched pattern. It has blue on the sides of its belly, and the males have a blue throat. The rear of its limbs are a yellowish-orange.

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Did You Know?

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Enlisted men in the Buffalo Soldier regiments were paid thirteen dollars a month plus room, board, and uniform. The enlistment period was five years.