San Diego Alligator Lizard

Animal Guide : Reptiles

San Diego Alligator Lizard
Fun Fact:
Like many lizards, the Alligator lizard can detach its tail at will to distract predators.

What's for Lunch:
Invertebrates; occasionally a small lizard, mammal, or bird egg

Where's Home:
Grasslands, riparian scrub, and chaparral; rests beneath rocks, logs, or other cover

Scientific Name:
Elgaria multicarinata webbii

Animal Guide : Reptiles


This spunky little lizard has been seen fighting off predators as formidable as snakes and even crows. It can swim, and it's at home in the trees as well, using its long, partially prehensile tail to grasp branches. That long tail has another use: like many lizards, the Alligator lizard can break off its own tail if caught. The tail thrashes around on the ground for minutes, distracting the predator while the lizard escapes.