Lizards

Fence Lizard

NPS Photo / Don Endicott

Great Basin fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis longipes):

This is a common lizard that eats small invertebrates. This particular species is a huge benefit to humans because of a protein in its blood that kills the bacterium in ticks that causes Lyme disease.

 
Side blotched lizard

NPS Photo / Warren Tam

Western side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana elegans):

This common lizard eats small invertebrates. Similar looking to the western fence lizard, adults are smaller and have a gular fold. Males have evolved an interesting mating strategy – read about it here. [http://www1.ucsc.edu/currents/02-03/06-23/lizards.html]

 
Orange Throated Whiptail Lizard

NPS Photo

Belding’s orange-throated whiptail (Aspidoscelis hyperythra beldingi):

Because of habitat fragmentation and habitat loss, this species now only inhabits approximately 25% of its historic range, but it does very well at Cabrillo National Monument. It eats small invertebrates and is a common sight at the park. Look for a lizard with a bright orange throat and a long tail.

 
Alligator Lizard

NPS Photo / Warren Tam

San Diego alligator lizard (Elgaria multicarinata webbii):

This is a somewhat common and very large lizard with short limbs and a long tail. The alligator lizard can be mistaken for a snake at times because of its long tail and snake-like locomotion. This species will eat small invertebrates, small lizards and small mammals. It will sometimes feed on bird eggs and young birds.

 
Legless lizard

NPS Photo

Southern California legless lizard (Anniella stebbinsi):

This is not a snake! It’s a legless lizard because it has eyelids and can drop its tail to help it escape a predator. This species spends a lot of its time underground, so it can be difficult to find. It feeds on insects in larvae form, beetles, termites, and spiders.

Last updated: January 4, 2016

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San Diego, CA 92106

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