Horned Lizard

Also known as Horntoad or Horny Toad


Horned Lizard

The Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma) is native to North America. They can live 5 - 8 Years and grow to 5 - 6 Inches. Their conservation statis is Least Concern (LC).

While keeping a horned lizard as a pet may seem like a good, fun idea; It might be wise to steer clear of this species of lizard. Their main diet consists of ants called “Pogonomyrmex” which aren’t hard to find in the south-west regions of the United States, but they pack a fairly painful sting! As adults, a horned lizard will consume up to 100 – 200 ants per day. Even if you have a nice ant hill outside, is it really worth the hassle of being stung while collecting your pet’s daily meal?

This is very delicate lizards which require a fair amount of effort to maintain; even for experienced herpetologists. The casual lizard owner would be highly advised not to keep a horned lizard for a pet as they often die in captivity.

Habitat

Horned lizards are often found in dry, sandy areas, short grass prairies, and some arid spruce forests. They’re often found in the southern united states, in Mexico as well as other similar places in climate. Low mountain slopes, rocky or gravel filled habitats are the most common areas you’ll find these lizards. Sometimes they can be found in grassy hills and semi-arid plains. Since their diet consists of mostly ants, the horned lizard can be found around ant hills where temperatures are often high.

Facts

  • These lizards can grow between 2 & 1/2 inches to 6 inches in length.
  • An adult horned lizard can eat between 100 – 200 ants per day.
  • Their horned, rough looking exterior is used to blend in with rocky areas to avoid predators.
  • Declining populations has caused Texas to issue a state protection on the Texas Horned Lizard.
  • Some horned lizards lay eggs twice in one season to increase their population.

 Useful Information

There are approximately 15 different species of the horned lizard. Eight of the 15 are native to the United States, with the Texas horned lizard being the largest of them. Four of the 15 horned lizard species squirt blood from their eyes as a means of protection against predators. First, they will use their coloration and texture for blending in with their environment. If that does not work, they will often run in a short burst then stop quickly as a way to throw off their predators.


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