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 Illinois

  LIZARDS   

HOW WILL I KNOW?


Lizards have the following traits
*4 legs (most species)
*claws (most species)
*eyelids
*ear openings (most species)
*scales

WHERE WILL I FIND THEM?

Lizards are land-based and may be seen sunning on logs or rocks. They climb up trees, too. They are secretive and shy. Lizards run very fast to escape danger and may even drop part of their tail. The tail will grow back but will be shorter than the original.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT THEM?

Lizards are covered with dry scales. They shed their skin in patches as they grow, sometimes eating it to recover nutrients. Most lizards can change colors to some degree. Breeding male lizards are frequently very colorful.

Shelled eggs are laid under bark, rocks or in rotten logs. The eggs may or may not be guarded by an adult.

These animals are carnivores with insects making up a large portion of the diet.

Like snakes, lizards use their tongue to pick up chemicals from the environment.

EASTERN FENCE LIZARD

Sceloporus undulatus
(skel-AW-pore-us un-dew-LATE-us)

IS IT NEAR MY HOUSE?


southern one-third of Illinois

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

The fence lizard (4-7.25 inches) is covered with rough, overlapping scales. Each scale has a spine that points toward the tail. The heavy body is gray with 5-8 brown or black bands.

WHAT ARE ITS HABITS?

This lizard is found in open, dry wooded areas such as rocky hillsides or woodlots. You may see it sunning itself on fallen trees, stumps or rail fences. It is a good climber. Sometimes the lizard is seen doing "push-ups" with its front legs. It eats insects and other arthropods.

WHAT ABOUT REPRODUCTION?

The fence lizard breeds in late April and early May. The female deposits eggs in rotten logs or stumps. Hatchlings may be found by August.

Read & Color

Now that you have learned more about this reptile, color or paint it as it would look in the wild. Add some of its habitat, too.

SLENDER GLASS LIZARD

Ophisaurus attenuatus
(oh-fee-SAUR-us uh-TEN-you-ate-us)

IS IT NEAR MY HOUSE?

statewide but not common

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

This tan, limbless lizard is 22-42 inches long and has a distinct dark stripe along the middle of its back. It may have white stripes along its side.

WHAT ARE ITS HABITS?

The animal is terrestrial and prefers areas with loose soil and sand where it may be found under rocks, logs and other objects. Its tail is very fragile and breaks easily. It is a carnivrore, eating animals such as lizards, snakes and crickets.

WHAT ABOUT REPRODUCTION?

Very little is known about the reproduction of the species.

Read & Color

Now that you have learned more about this amphibian, color or paint it as it would look in the wild. Add some of its habitat, too.

COMMON FIVE-LINED SKINK

Eumeces fasciatus
(you-ME-sees fas-e-AH-tus)

IS IT NEAR MY HOUSE?

southern half of Illinois

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

This animal is 5-8 inches long. Females and young have five long, light stripes on a dark background. Mature males are tan, gray or bronze with red cheeks. Young have blue tails.

WHAT ARE ITS HABITS?

Often seen on sunny days around abandoned buildings, rotten logs, dead trees or rock outcrops, this skink can move very quickly if disturbed. It may lose its tail to distract a predator. Arthropods, earthworms and mollusks make up a large part of the diet. The five-lined skink will bite you if you try to pick it up.

WHAT ABOUT REPRODUCTION?

Each female lays about nine eggs in rotten logs or stumps daily in July. The eggs are guarded by the female.

Read & Color

Now that you have learned more about this reptile, color or paint it as it would look in the wild. Add some of its habitat, too.

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