Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Boy and A Lizard


My youngest has a very curious mind and loves to explore the outdoors. He especially likes to pick up spiders, insects, lizards, frogs and pretty much anything that he is fast enough to catch. His latest capture is this young Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus).



These lizards spend much of their time basking in the sun. But if you surprise them they will try to scurry off under a rock, up a tree

or up your arm,



to your shoulder,


and across your back


in an attempt to escape.


These lizards are very abundant in our garden living amongst the trees, stumps and rocks. They feed on spiders, insects and invertebrates. One of the biggest dangers these lizards encounter are attacks by fire ants that target the underbelly of the lizards and inject a neuromuscular toxin which immobilizes and kills the victim in less than a minute. 

Note: my son handled the lizard with the greatest of care. The Eastern Fence lizard is not aggressive and will allow you to handle them most of the time.

14 comments:

  1. No to z Twojego Syna będzie, a właściwie już jest, miłośnik przyrody. Pozdrawiam

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  2. I'm impressed at how similar your Sceloporus species is our western native species. We too have a LOT of fence lizards zipping around the property, and seemed to have an explosion of baby ones in the garden this year. I love seeing them around, basking on rocks and logs. I'm impressed your little one can catch them. I rescued one from the path of the tractor last week, and they're tricky to pick up!

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  3. Very nice photos and info regarding this lizard. I think this is the species I see in the garden and on the garden fence. I am glad to have them in the garden eating the bugs.

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  4. Oh I love this tiny lizard! Your son and I would get along great (except the spiders!). Those photos of him are terrific!

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  5. What a sweet little lizard and it looks like your son quite enjoyed playing with him. I think it's great when kids take an interest in the insects and animals around them. They become much more aware of nature and their place in it I think.

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  6. How cute! We have quite a few of them. I'm impressed your son caught one - they're fast!

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  7. So sweet, Karin. And, oh, those dimples!

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  8. We have several of these lizards, along with the green anoles. I did not know that the fire ants kill them, which sounds like another reason to rid my yard of those things which I have been ignoring. Great post.

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  9. You have a brave and kind boy. I wouldn't dare to touch the lizard. I would have screamed if a lizard is on my shoulder. Taking photos is another thing. Oh ya! Great dimple. :)

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  10. He is so brave! LOL! I am so squeamish when it comes to any reptile. Boys do love to explore outdoors and he looks like he is enjoying the lizard.Just so he doesn't spray paint the ants like my son did when he was little. We had the prettiest ants in the neighborhood one summer. LOL!

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  11. What lovely photographs. Great to see him having so much fun with nature. I have a nephew who is similarly fascinated by wriggly critters of all sorts, sadly we have no lizards to entertain him.

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  12. eeee! I've got the shivers up my spine! Glad he enjoyed himself, though. :)

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  13. What cute photos of the lizard going across your son's back! Adorable. Glad it didn't crawl down his shirt!

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  14. oh how cool..love to see this lizard in my garden but have not...perhaps they are there and hidden so well in the different habitats...your son is a gentle soul and has your love of wildlife...

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