Critter Corner - Collared
(Crotaphytus collaris collaris)
DID YOU KNOW:
When startled, Collared lizards are able to run upright on
their hind legs! They look like miniature T-rexes, using their
long tail to stay balanced. Of the 11 species of lizards found
in Missouri, collared lizards are the largest.
collared lizard enjoys live foods like grasshoppers, crickets
and worms. They are aggressive eaters and will feast on
smaller lizards as well. Collared lizards have a unique way
of waving their tails just before they grab prey
From the middle of May to early June, courtship takes
The colorful male will walk around the female bobbing
his head up and down. Later Mom lizard will lay between 2 to
21 leathery eggs in a hole dug under a large rock. Upon
hatching, the baby lizards are entirely on their own.
Collared lizards live in endangered habitats called
glade is a rocky, hillside area with shallow soil
and very few trees. Wildflowers and prickly pear cactus are
important glade plants. The rocks become very warm in the hot
sun and collared lizards love to sun-bathe.
Rocky Point Glade in Swope Park is a fine
Collared Lizard habitat.
Collared lizards can be dinner
for hawks and some species of snakes. The lizards will
stay very still if they feel threatened, and if a predator gets
too close they will quickly run away. If caught they
will squirm, scratch and bite to escape.
Unlike other lizards, a Collared lizard’s tail
does not break off if grabbed.
A nickname for the Collared lizard is the mountain boomer,
even though they are unable to make sounds.
To learn more about
(Photo Credits: Portrait of
Collared Lizard on rock, US Geological Survey; All other photos,
Missouri Department of Conservation)