Field Guide/Reptiles/Texas Alligator Lizard

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Gerrhonotus infernalis (Texas Alligator Lizard)

Where found: The Texas Alligator Lizard is found in the central region of Texas, and south into Mexico.

Description: The Texas alligator lizard is a medium sized lizard, attaining a maximum length of approximately 20 inches. They have a flat, wedge-shaped head. They are generally a yellow-brown color, often with darker brown and white checker patterning on the dorsal surface, and uniformly light colored, white or grey on the ventral surface. Their scales are very stiff and plate-like. They have short limbs, and a tail that can fall off to distract a potential predator, which will regrow in time.

Behavior: Texas alligator lizards are relatively slow moving, diurnal lizards, with good vision. They are often found in on rocky hillsides, where they hide amongst the stones or in limestone crevices. Their primary diet is insects and other invertebrates. Not generally aggressive, but they may bite if handled.

Reproduction: Breeding occurs year round, sometimes multiple clutches of eggs are laid per year. Females will often stay near the nesting site to protect it, but there is no parental care once the young alligator lizards hatch. The young are generally have more striking markings, and are only about 3-4 inches in length.
Texas Alligator Lizard, Gerrhonotus infernalis