dcsimg

Distribution

    Distribution
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Eastern collared lizards are found in areas between Kansas to northeastern Mexico, primarily in the central plains region, hilly or canyon lands which make up this particular part of the United States. In Texas, this species is found in the central to western regions (Bartlett and Bartlett, 1999).

    Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); neotropical (Native )

Morphology

    Morphology
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    These are relatively large lizards, with slender necks, large heads and long tails. There is a definite dimorphism in this species; males are larger and are often very brightly colored with yellow and orange bodies. (Behler 1979)

    The most noticeable characteristics of these lizards are found in the two black collars that run from the arms to the neck of the animal. Furthermore, there are usually six dark cross bands which run across the lizard's back (Dundee and Rossman 1989).

    The bodies are usually covered with small white spots. Also, the scales on the lizard's body are granular, while the tail scales appear to be slightly larger. (Behler, 1979).

Habitat

    Habitat
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    These lizards are found in a variety of habitats, ranging from arid areas with large rocks which are good for basking to hardwood forest regions. More frequently, however, they are found in hilly regions. (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999).

    Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; savanna or grassland ; forest

Trophic Strategy

    Trophic Strategy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    The eastern collared lizard is an active predator. It feeds on a variety of arthropods and small lizards. While food sources vary, these lizards seem to prefer large grasshoppers for nutrition. In addition, spiders, moths, and beetles are also eaten. When the lizard preys on other lizards, it will kill them by crushing their skulls. It must be noted that while these lizards were previously thought to be very cannibalistic, they are now thought to be less so, only killing other conspecifics when necessary (Sugarman, 1988).

Reproduction

    Reproduction
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    These lizards, like most other lizard speciess, are oviparous. They lay between 2-11 eggs in each clutch every yera. Under normal circumstances, breeding begins in May and continues through June. The eggs are ordinarily laid during July. In order to protect the eggs from predators, the lizards will bury them in loose sand and beneath the stones that they usually bask on (Bockstanz, 1998).

Conservation Status

    Conservation Status
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    No special status at the present time. They are fairly well distributed. However, they might not often be seen because of their nervous nature (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999).

    US Federal List: no special status

    CITES: no special status

Benefits

    Benefits
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    The lizards help to stabilize the grasshopper, beetle, and moth populations by preying on them (Behler 1979).

Other Articles

    Untitled
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    These lizards are unlike most in that they cannot regenerate their tails. Furthermore, there are few differences between the eastern collared lizard and its relative, the western collared lizard. Apart from geographic differences, it is often very difficult to distinguish between the two subspecies (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999).