Northern Alligator Lizard
|Northern Alligator Lizard|
This lizard was formerly known under the scientific name of Gerrhonotus coeruleus (Wiegmann, 1828), but is nowadays classed as Elgaria coerulea. There are four subspecies:
- E.c. coerulea Wiegmann 1828: San Francisco Alligator Lizard
- E.c. palmeri Stejneger 1893: Sierra Alligator Lizard
- E.c. principis Baird and Girard 1852: Northwestern Alligator Lizard
- E.c. shastensis Fitch 1934: Shasta Alligator Lizard
The subspecies E.c. principis is one of five species of lizards in Canada.
Northern Alligator Lizards are medium-sized slender lizards. Adults reach a snout-to-vent length of about 10 cm (4 inches) and a total length of roughly 25 cm (10 in). They have a distinct skin fold on their sides, separating the keeled scales on the back from the smooth ventral scales. this skin varies in color, but can be brown and white or greenish yellow and brown. They are brownish in color and often have dark blotches that sometimes blend together into bands. the throat and mouth area of some young individuals can be yellow. The belly is light gray. The eyes are dark. Their typical diet includes crickets, mealworms, and moths, but they will also take larger prey, such as small lizards, and will even eat small baby mice if given the opportunity.
The northern alligator lizard gives birth to live young,about 2-3,approximately 2 months after mating.
E.c. principis, and
The Northern Alligator Lizard occurs along the Pacific Coast and in the Rocky Mountains from southern British Columbia through Washington, northern Idaho and western Montana south through Oregon to the coastal range and the Sierra Nevada in central California. As the map shows, the different subspecies have quite different ranges, with E.c. principis being the most widely distributed, whereas the E.c. coerulea subspecies occurs only around the San Francisco area.
The species is widely distributed along the Pacific coast and can be found from sea level up to elevation of about 3350 m (11000 ft). It is found in a variety of forested habitats and montane chaparral.
- Encyclopedia of Animals:Mammals,Birds,Reptiles,Amphibians
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