Texas Alligator Lizard

The Texas Alligator Lizard, Gerrhonotus infernalis, is a species of alligator lizard found in the central region of the American state of Texas, and south into Mexico. They are relatively slow moving, diurnal lizards, with good vision. They are often found in on rocky hillsides, where they hide amongst the stones or in limestone crevices.

It is a medium-sized lizard, growing to a maximum length of 20 inches. They have a flat, wedge-shaped head. They are generally a yellow-brown color, often with darker brown and white checker patterning on the dorsal surface, and uniformly light colored, white or grey on the ventral surface. Their scales are very stiff and plate-like. They have short limbs, and a tail that can fall off to distract a potential predator, which will regrow in time.

Their primary diet is insects and other invertebrates. Not generally aggressive, but they may bite if handled.

Breeding occurs year round and sometimes multiple clutches of eggs are laid per year. Females will often stay near the nesting site to protect it, but there is no parental care once the young alligator lizards hatch. The young are generally have more striking markings, and are only about 3-4 inches in length.

Photo by LA Dawson