Prairie lizard, Fence swift, Gray lizard, Northern fence lizard, Pine lizard, Horn-billed lizard
The eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus ) is a medium-sized species of lizard in the family Phrynosomatidae. The species is found along forest edges, rock piles, and rotting logs or stumps in the eastern United States. It is sometimes referred to as the prairie lizard, fence swift, gray lizard, gravid lizard, northern fence lizard or pine lizard. It is also referred to colloquially as the horn-billed lizard. One of its most notable behaviors is that of its escape behavior when encountering fire ants.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of a...
An insectivore is a carnivorous plant or animal that eats insects. An alternative term is entomophage, which also refers to the human practice of e...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Predators are animals that kill and eat other organisms, their prey. Predators may actively search for or pursue prey or wait for it, often conceal...
Precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching. Precocial species are normall...
A burrow is a hole or tunnel excavated into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct ...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Eastern fence lizards are medium-sized reptiles found in the eastern United States. They are typically colored in shades of gray or brown, and have keeled scales, with a dark line running along the rear of the thigh. Females are usually gray and have a series of dark, wavy lines across their backs. The belly is white with black flecks, with some pale blue on the throat and belly. Males are usually brown, and during the summer, they have a more greenish-blue and black coloration on the sides of the belly and throat than females. The young look like females but are darker and duller.
Eastern fence lizards are found in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Southern Illinois, Southern Indiana, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, Delaware, northern Florida, southern Wyoming, southern New Jersey, and southeastern New York. These lizards prefer to live in grasslands, shrublands and along forest edges. They often hide in rock crevices or under rocks, wood piles, rotting logs or stumps.
Eastern fence lizards are mainly arboreal (tree-dwelling) creatures; however, they can also be found on the ground. During the day they are usually seen basking on fences, rocks, logs, and tree trunks. They will also use these areas as a night shelter. Eastern fence lizards are solitary and territorial. In order to claim it's their territory, males will flash the blue scales on their underbelly; they may also do push-ups and head-bobs to chase other males away from their territories. When fence lizards sense any danger, they will escape up in the nearest tree and stop on the opposite side of the tree trunk to avoid being detected. If the pursuer still circles around the tree, the lizard will continue to move in a spiral motion up the tree trunk until it disappears out of sight.
Eastern fence lizards are polygynous meaning that one males mates with more than one female in a single breeding season. Their breeding season occurs in spring and during this time males often do "push-ups" and flash their blue patches to attract mates. Females lay 3 to 16 eggs in late spring or early summer. Eggs are usually laid underground and the incubation period lasts around 8 to 10 weeks. Baby fence lizards are completely independent at birth and become reproductively mature at 1-2 years of age.
There are no major threats facing this species at present.
According to IUCN, the Eastern fence lizard is locally common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.
Eastern fence lizards feed only on various insects and thus control their populations. In turn, these lizards are important prey for birds and other larger predators including snakes, domestic cats and dogs, and larger lizards.