Eastern fence lizard

Eastern fence lizard

The Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) is a medium sized species of lizard found along forest edges, rock piles, and rotting logs or stumps from the Mid-Atlantic states (Southern New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) across the southeast states to the Great Plains, and south into northern Mexico. They are sometimes referred to as the Prairie Lizard, Texas Swift, or Gray Lizard.

The Eastern Fence Lizard can grow from 4 to 7.25 inches long. It is typically colored in shades of gray or brown, and has keeled scales, with a dark line running along the rear of the thigh. Females are usually gray and have a series of dark, wavy lines across their back. Their belly is white with black flecks, and they have some pale blue on their throat and belly. Males are usually brown and during the summer they have a lot more greenish-blue and black coloration on the sides of the belly and throat than the female has. The young look like the females, but are darker and duller.

They closely resemble the Western fence lizard, but differ slightly in coloration and live in a completely different area and habitat.

Fence lizards are diurnal and spend much of their time basking. Their diet consists of primarily insects and spiders. When surprised, they often will dash for a nearby tree, climb up a short distance, and then hide on the opposite side of the trunk, moving around to stay on the opposite side if approached.

Eastern Fence Lizards mate in spring, and lay 3-16 eggs in late spring or early summer. The young hatch in summer and fall.

They can make good pets, as some are quite docile, but others can be quite fierce, and are better left alone.


There are ten recognized subspecies of S. undulatus:


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