Texas alligator lizard

Gerrhonotus liocephalus

SUBFAMILY

Gerrhonotinae

TAXONOMY

Gerrhonotus liocephalus Wiegmann, 1828, Mexico, later restricted to Tlapancingo, Oaxaca. Up to six subspecies have been recognized.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

Spanish: Culebra con patas, lagartija escorpión de Tejas. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

This large lizard grows to 19.7 in (500 mm) in length, though typically it is 9.8-15.7 in (250-400 mm) long. The Texas alligator lizard has strong jaws; four well-developed limbs; and a long, moderately prehensile tail. The dorsal ground color is reddish brown to dull yellow, with irregular transverse bands consisting of dark and light flecks.

DISTRIBUTION

This species occurs in central and southwestern Texas south to San Luis Potosí, Mexico.

HABITAT

It inhabits rocky hillsides with low vegetation.

BEHAVIOR

The Texas alligator lizard is diurnal and primarily terrestrial. A slow-moving species, it may inflate itself with air when disturbed.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

This species actively forages for arthropods and small rodents, snakes, and other lizards.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Females attend their clutches of five to 31 eggs, which are laid once per year or more often.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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