Southern Alligator Lizard – San Diego, CA   15 comments




Southern Alligator Lizard – San Diego, CA

Southern Alligator Lizards are one of my most favorite lizards to find in California.  They have huge heads and small legs so they almost look like a snake, but like I said they have legs.  This species of lizard is able to drop its tail if you grab it.  You think you have him, then BAM!  A puff of smoke and a wiggling tail is all you have left in your hands.  That is the good scenario.   Please don’t do this because a lizard stores a lot of fat in their tail and there isn’t a little lizard grocery store where they can go to restock.  The bad scenario is you have an 8 inch lizard hanging off your hand like a miniature pit bull.  However, if you give them their space they will leave you alone and pose for pictures quite nicely.  I photographed this one early in the morning when it was nice and cool.  They tend to be half asleep in the low temperatures and hang out for a while.

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15 responses to Southern Alligator Lizard – San Diego, CA

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  1. I love this pic! I used to play with these lizards as a kid. I used to grab them behind their front legs (Gently!). I always let them go where I found them though. Turn them over and rub their bellies and they are gentle as lambs.

  2. although I hate lizards but I like this one.

  3. Great photo. I enjoy your witty commentary. Good thing to have with my morning coffee….a big laugh or a great chuckle 😀

    Thanks for the “like” on one of my posts.


  4. Great shot!

  5. Wow – your pics are fantastic! And BTW – I’ve been to San Diego once & it is absolutely beautiful. Such a wide variety of scenery & wildlife. I didn’t want to leave…

  6. I am not a fan but he makes a great piccie, most snakes and lizzars take a while to warm up so I think early in the day is when they pose the best. I prefer my birds. Nice shot though.

  7. Thank goodness for the legs…it makes him a cute little fella. I couldn’t say the same if he was a snake!

  8. wonderful capture! I tend to miss the itty bitties when I’m out with my camera!

  9. This dude will have little to fear from me; I will not pick him up! I guess that I have to open my eyes the next time; I didn’t see any when I was in SD.

  10. Been a long time since I’ve seen one of these. They are in central California, too. And . . . they bite hard!

  11. Beautiful little guy – so unfamiliar to me in the PNW.

  12. Wow, I love your description of this little guy! He is so cute! And he did a great pose I might add!

  13. Reblogged this on Pongola Online.

  14. I like thinking of him peacefully asleep. You keep reminding me how incredible nature is.


  15. Love it…. one of my most favourite creatures are lizards…. Great shot…! and Great write-up too 😉

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