Celebrating the Prairie Lizard on World Lizard Day

Today, August 14th, we celebrate these fascinating reptiles and their importance in ecosystems around the world. As a wildlife photographer, I want to highlight one of my favorite local lizard species – the Prairie Lizard.

Prairie Lizard For World Lizard Day
Prairie Lizard For World Lizard Day

The Prairie Lizard (Sceloporus consobrinus) is a small, brown lizard found throughout the grasslands and prairies of the central United States. They are well adapted to life on the open prairie, with their brown coloration providing excellent camouflage against the dirt and dry grasses.

These little lizards play an important role in controlling insect populations. Their diet consists mainly of ants, grasshoppers, beetles, and other small invertebrates. A single Prairie Lizard can consume thousands of insects in a season! Without lizards like the Prairie Lizard, insect pest levels could grow out of control.

Prairie Lizards are active during the day, basking on rocks or fence posts to regulate their body temperature. In the evening, they take shelter in burrows or under rocks. This is a great time of day to observe them before they retire for the night.

Here are a few fun facts about the Prairie Lizard:

  • They perform “push ups” to communicate and defend their territory. The male will bob up and down on his front legs to warn off competitors or attract females.
  • Their coloration can range from brown to green, with dark blotches on their backs. This helps them blend in to their surroundings.
  • Prairie Lizards have a long tail that can break off when grabbed by a predator. The tail will regenerate over time. This helps them escape predation.
  • Females lay one clutch of 5-14 eggs in underground nests each summer. The eggs incubate for 6-8 weeks before hatching.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about the Prairie Lizard on World Lizard Day. Let me know in the comments if you’ve seen any interesting lizards in your area! I’m always looking for new species to photograph.

Equipment Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R7
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM

Technical Details: First Photo

  • Location: Ouachita National Forest (Arkansas)
  • Date and Time Taken: September 24, 2022 (12:00 P. M.)
  • Program: Manual
  • Aperture: f7.1
  • Shutter speed: 1/800
  • ISO: 3200 (Auto)
  • Exp. Comp.: 0
  • Focal Length: 500 mm