HomeZ_Import Misc

Lizards Of The Sun

Colorful and energetic, whiptails flit across the United States.

Reptiles Magazine 0801
Reptiles Magazine 0304
Herper Headshotz – Chad New

If we were in Europe, the lizards that would best fit the description “lizards of the sun” are the lacertids: green lizards, wall lizards and eyed lizards of the genera Lacerta, Podarcis, Timon and “spinoff genera.” In fact, three lacertids — the common wall lizard, Italian wall lizard and western green lizard — are now established in the United States, and they ease gracefully into the categorization and fill niches in regions not normally populated by native whiptails.

However similar in appearance, mannerisms and habits U.S. whiptails may appear to the European horde, the two lizard groups are quite different. Whiptails native to the United States are in Teiidae, and this New World family also contains such well-known pet species as the tegus and the lesser-known, aquatic caiman lizards.


Want to read the full story? Pick up the November 2008 issue of REPTILES, or subscribe to get 12 months of articles just like this.