Thursday, October 1, 2009

Texas Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus olivaceus)

We haven't named them, but the lizards in our garden are our friends.

This one patrols the front garden for beetles and bugs. Last summer's drought reduced our insect population and he responded by extending his range to the front porch where the potted plants made shopping easier and he could get water from saucers.

He's so fast we're not always sure we see him, maybe that leaf-rustle was just the wind? Was that stick on the tree really a Texas Spiny Lizard?

A couple of months from now he'll retreat to a burrow under one of the rock walls and sleep until spring.

He's not the only Texas Spiny Lizard in the front garden. We've seen a grand old man about eleven inches, much larger than this guy's eight. And some little ones, three or four inches, so he must have a girlfriend too.

Unless he is the girlfriend.


  1. Your last sentence had me chuckling. You are right that the Texas spiny lizards are fast and shy. So unlike the bold anoles I enjoyed seeing in my old garden.

    It was so nice to meet you recently, Kathleen, and thanks again for the beautyberries!

  2. Hi Pam, I was so glad to meet the woman behind Digging. Your blog has been such an inspiration. It was fun to exchange plants. I have a good spot for the mandrake and am looking forward to seeing it grow.

  3. I just moved to Austin from Charleston, SC and have been flabbergasted by the amount of entirely different species here. A lizard to me is one of those little green guys and some geckos. But I saw this lizard 2 days in a row now and I LOVE freaky as they appear at first.
    Anyway, had to find out what they were called and was linked to your picture through google's images for "TX Hillcountry lizards".
    I just want to say thank you for posting it because without you I would still be wondering!

  4. Also called the Texas Fence Lizard which helps prevent Lime Disease. The tick bites the lizard and the blood of the lizard has properties that kill the bacteria. Thus the ticks are free of the bacteria.


My readers are all geniuses. Can't wait to see what you have to say.