Logo of nature.ca - Canadian Museum of Nature.
Logo of Natural History Notebooks.
 
Button: Home. Button: Resources. Button: Notebooks A-Z.
Button: Français.
Home > Reptiles > Northern Alligator Lizard Next
Text: Reptiles.
   
Northern Alligator Lizard
Photo: Northern Alligator Lizard, Elgaria coerulea principis.
Northern alligator lizard, Elgaria coerulea principis
More Images »

Where are they found? North America

Map of the world.


The northern alligator lizard may have been named for its likeness to an alligator, but its habitat and smaller size belie the comparison. It is Canada's largest lizard, and can attain a total length of 25 cm (9.8 in.).

Most characteristic to all species of this family is its prominent longitudinal fold of skin on each side of the body. These allow for the expansion of the sides when the animal is feeding, breathing, or pregnant.

Its back is brown with irregular dark spots, and the sides are greyish.

Its tail will readily break off if grabbed, giving the animal a chance to escape. A replacement section will grow, and it is usually darker than the original.

This lizard is wary in the open and is usually found under cover of bark, logs, or stones. Insects and spiders are its main prey. It is live-bearing, producing litters of up to 15 young.

In Canada, it occurs in southern mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island. In the U.S.A., it can be found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Its habitat is dry, often rocky, wooded or partly wooded areas, and sometimes grasslands.


More Images


Looking for photos?

The Canadian Museum of Nature has thousands of unique images reflecting the diversity of the natural world—including the photos and illustrations here in our Natural History NotebooksContact us to learn more!


To cite this page for personal use:
“Northern Alligator Lizard”. [Online]. Natural History Notebooks. Canadian Museum of Nature.
Last updated (Web site consulted

Previous
Button: Mammals. Photo: Lion (Panthera leo). Button: Birds. Photo: Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).
Button: Fish. Photo: Brown trout (Salmo trutta). Button: Reptiles. Photo: Komodo dragon (Varanus komodensis).
Button: Amphibians. Photo: Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana). Button: Invertebrates. Photo: House fly (Musca domestica).
Button: Dinosaurs. Illustration: Tyrannosaurus rex. Archive slide: S71-116. Button: Prehistoric. Illustration: Muskox (Ovibos moschatus).
Button: Navigate the World. Illustration: Map of the world.
 
Text: This way to more photos of reptiles. Photo: Common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis).

Reproduction Rights    Credits    Explore Nature!    Comments or Questions?

Next Previous Next Previous