Name: Southern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata)
Order: Lizard (Squamata)
Family: Alligator Lizards (Anguidae)
What they look like
- Southern alligator lizards are large rough-scaled lizards with short limbs and a long tail.
- Their body can be up to 5.6 inches long and their tail is about twice its body length.
- Their back is brown with black spots that form numerous bands across the body’s width. Their underside is light colored.
Where they live
- View a map of where they live.
- Southern alligator lizards can be found along the Pacific coast of Washington, Oregon, California, and Baja California.
- Tend to live in grassy, brushy, or rocky openings within forested areas, especially Oregon oak-ponderosa pine.
- They are oftentimes found along creeks, where they swim or bask on rocks.
What they eat
- Southern alligator lizards feed on small arthropods, slugs, lizards, small mammals, and occasionally young birds and eggs.
- In June or July, females lay up to 20 eggs, which hatch after around 55 days.
Cool Biology Facts
- The southern alligator lizard was discovered from collections gathered during the mid-1850s U.S.-Mexican Boundary Survey.
- Even though human development has caused population declines in certain areas, they are considered “least concern” due to their tolerance of moderate human development, large distribution, adaptability to a wide variety of habitats, and large stable populations.
- View their status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.