eastern fence lizard (Sceloporous undulatus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHARACTERISTICS: This is a medium-sized, rough-scaled lizard

that reaches total lengths of 4-7 1/4 in. (10-18.4 cm). The scales are not
glossy, are heavily keeled and pointed, and overlap. Colors on the dor-

sum of the head, body, and tail are brown to gray in a pattern of undu-

lating crossbands. The sides are light gray, brown, or black, and the chin,

throat, and belly are white or cream. Males are usually brown and have a

blue to green-blue patch on the side of the belly and a broad blue patch at

the base of the throat. Females are mostly gray with a very defined pat-

tern on the back, and have smaller light blue spots on the side of the belly

and throat. Mating starts in mid-April and 6-10 eggs are laid in rotten logs

or sawdust piles in late spring. Eggs hatch in mid-summer. There may be

second clutch. This lizard often runs along fences, rotting logs, stumps,

and up trees. It hibernates until March.

 

DISTRIBUTION: This species is found statewide in Virginia. It inhabits
open pine woods, mixed hardwood and pine forest, mixed deciduous for-

est, woodlots in old fields and urban areas, near houses and barns and on

rock piles.

 

FOODS: This lizard preys on a variety of invertebrates by waiting for
prey and then pouncing from a perch. A sample taken in Henrico County
found prey to consist of wood boring beetles, blow flies, stink bugs, leaf-

hoppers, ants, moths, short-horned grasshoppers, long-horned grasshoppers, roaches, spiders, millipedes, and snails.

 

 

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