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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 21:20 EDT

Southern Alligator Lizard

The Southern Alligator Lizard, Elgaria multicarinata, is a lizard native to the Pacific coast of North America. It is common throughout Southern California and can be found in both grasslands and urban areas. Several subspecies can be distinguished, including the San Diego alligator lizard.

It has a prehensile tail up to twice the length of its body. Like many lizards, however, it can drop its tail if attacked, possibly giving it a chance to flee; the tail will regenerate, but will never be as long or richly colored as the original. Individuals with intact tails can reach up to about 20 inches in total length.

Southern Alligator Lizard