Eastern Fence Lizard

Females are usually larger than males.
Eastern Fence Lizard Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Sceloporus undulatas
Eastern Fence Lizard Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Blue, Black
over 1,000,000
2-5 years
Eastern Fence Lizard Distribition

” A growing species of spiny lizard”

The eastern fence lizard is an usual spiny lizard located throughout the eastern USA and Mexico. It is very easy to differentiate from various other indigenous species by its appearance. The harsh, spiny ranges, unique dorsal pattern, and brilliant blue markings are obvious qualities that are quickly recognizable. These reptiles have a normally favorable link with humans. They eat a selection of insects and spiders. This can aid regulate aggravating bug populaces.

5 Amazing Eastern Fence Lizard Truths!

  • Eastern fence lizards come from the Iguania suborder.
  • They are sexually dimorphic, indicating males and females can be identified by their distinctions in appearance.
  • They are an arboreal species, investing a bulk of their time in or near trees.
  • These lizards have no recognized unfavorable links with humans.
  • In Contrast To what some might believe, they are not dangerous or poisonous.

Scientific Name

The scientific name for the eastern fence lizard is Sceloporus undulatus There are lots of alternating names for this lizard. Several of one of the most generally made use of names are fence lizard, plateau lizard, and savanna lizard. The kingdom they come from is Animalia and the phylum is Chordata. They remain in the Reptilia class. They belong to the Squamata order and remain in the Phrynosomatidae family. The genus name Sceloporus originates from the Greek words skelos which indicates leg and poros definition opening or pore. This is due to the fact that they have huge femoral pores. The scientific name undulatus is Latin for wave and describes their wave- like dorsal pattern.

There are 7 identified subspecies of eastern fence lizards. The subspecies are as complies with:

  • Sceloporus undulatus elongatus (north fence lizard)
  • Sceloporus undulatus erythrochelius (red- lipped savanna lizard)
  • Sceloporus undulatus garmani (north savanna lizard)
  • Sceloporus undulatus spirit (Spear’s savanna lizard)
  • Sceloporus undulatus tedbrowni (mescalero savanna lizard or mescalero dunes fence lizard)
  • Sceloporus undulatus undulatus (southerly fence lizard or eastern fence lizard)

Where the Eastern Fence Lizard Obtained its Name

The eastern fence lizard obtained its name when wood fencings were a preferred sort of obstacle in yards, yards, and ranches. These fencings was among one of the most recommended frameworks for basking and are still widespread to detect them. They exist with the majority of the eastern USA, which is why it has eastern in the name.

They are commonly called by various names. As pointed out over, some well- understood names are fence lizard, plateau lizard, and savanna lizard. Extra alternating names are timber lizard, fence swift, want lizard, want swift, and grey lizard. They might likewise be described by their Spanish name, lagartija escamosa de pradera.

Appearance & & Habits

They are little to tool- sized reptiles with harsh- looking backs. The ranges on the dorsal side are keeled. The body is brownish to grey in shade with some variants in between sexes. They have a black wave- like pattern on the top side of the body. This pattern is much more popular in females, and males might seem even more of a strong shade. Males have an intense blue tone on the throat and stubborn belly. Females might likewise have some blue yet it is extremely pale if in any way noticeable. The stubborn belly of the lizard is primarily white with some streaks of black.

These lizards are rather little, normally expanding to be in between 4 and 7 inches long, and have an ordinary weight of 15 grams. The ordinary weight has to do with equivalent to that of 6 dimes.

Eastern fence lizards have a puzzling coloring that aids camouflage them in their atmosphere. They can quickly assimilate with the bark of a tree. They depend on their rate and dexterity to get away predators, normally adding a tree and hiding on the contrary side. If recorded by the tail, the appendage can break short, enabling the lizard to get away. The tail will partly or entirely expand back in time.

A team of lizards is called a lounge, yet you will not commonly see these in a team because of their singular nature. Tiny teams would certainly probably include a breeding set throughout the reproducing period, or a mommy lizard and her young. These lizards are normally inactive and invest an excellent quantity of time indulging in the sunlight.

As a diurnal species, they are most energetic in the daytime and rest during the night. They favor cozy climate and are specifically energetic on warm days. They normally oversleep the exact same place they indulge in or near it. Males are territorial and will certainly display the brilliant blue stubborn belly tinting to inform various other males to withdraw. They will certainly likewise display “head bobs” and “press- ups” to safeguard their region. If those actions are not adequate, the male might come to be hostile and combat the various other lizard.

eastern fence lizard sitting on wood
The eastern fence lizard is the only spiny lizard in Tennessee.

Isabel Eve/Shutterstock. com


This species of lizard lives in The United States and Canada. It is located in The USA and Mexico. In the USA, it is mainly existing in the eastern part of the nation. It has actually been taped in Washington, D.C., and these 23 states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • New Jacket
  • New York City
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

All subspecies of eastern fence lizard live within the exact same variety. The environment in its environment is warm to subtropical. Requiring an earthbound environment, it most generally lives in want woodlands yet is likewise located in various other woodlands, meadows, shrublands, and rough locations. It likewise populates fabricated environments such as country yards and fields.

These lizards are commonly observed on trees in their environment. They delight in basking on fencings and various other frameworks such as logs, brush heaps, rocks, and on the ground. They generally have an area that has to do with 154 to 200 square feet (47 to 61 square meters) in dimension. The location might have a broader variety when there is sufficient food supply.

Eastern fence lizards do not move. Nevertheless, they do hibernate in the winter season. They might not invest the whole time delved in the ground. They will sometimes appear to indulge in the sunlight on cozy days.

Predators & & Threats

These lizards are predators and have a largely insectivorous diet. They normally forage two times a day in the early morning and very early night. They are thought about “rest- and- delay predators” and will certainly relax around and look for target that comes near. When the target is close sufficient, they will certainly take it and appreciate their dish. Females are understood to eat greater than the quantity of their typical diet throughout springtime to increase their power in the prep work of laying eggs.

Aside from all-natural predators, they do not encounter lots of hazards. They have one intriguing killer that lots of would certainly not anticipate. Intrusive red fire ants have a poison that is dangerous to these lizards. Their sting can be harmful to an eastern fence lizard. These ants are foreign to the location and have actually been imported from various other locations.

Dangers from humans are not a significant concern for this species. Environment loss and damage is an aspect, although not a considerable one currently. Severe climate, such as flooding can be damaging to eggs and hatchlings. These lizards might come to be targets of bloodsuckers like chiggers and botflies, which can be rather damaging to their health and wellness.

This species is growing and is of Least Concern on the IUCN Red Checklist. There are no present preservation initiatives in position for this species due to the fact that they are ruled out required.

What consumes eastern fence lizards?

Snakes such as cottonmouths, rat snakes, and blue racers prevail predators of the eastern fence lizard. They are likewise on a regular basis consumed by birds, bigger lizards, and cats.

What do eastern fence lizards eat?

Eastern fence lizards eat primarily insects. They likewise eat various other arthropods, arachnids, and various other invertebrate species. Some species consumed by these lizards consist of ants, spiders, beetles, moths, grasshoppers, ladybugs, and occasionally snails. They might likewise treat on a percentage of plant issue such as needlegrass and cheatgrass.

Reproduction, Infants & & Life Expectancy

The breeding period for eastern fence lizards happens in between April and August. To bring in a friend, males will certainly execute some actions that are likewise made use of when protecting their region. They will certainly reveal their blue stubborn belly to obtain the focus of females and do press- ups and head bobs. The press- ups and head bobs are performed in periods of 4 to 5 secs at once. They likewise have glands that produce scents to lure females to reproduce with them.

A male will certainly mate with greater than one female throughout the reproducing period. This sex-related actions is called polygyny. Females will certainly bring to life 3 to 16 eggs in the springtime. The gestation duration lasts in between 8 and 10 weeks. Youthful females will generally just have one clutch annually, while older ones might have up to 4.

Eggs hatch in the summertime. A child lizard is called a hatchling. The infant has to do with one and a fifty percent inches to 2 and one- quarter inches long when it leaves the egg. It looks just like a female eastern fence lizard, yet smaller sized and duller. Being precocial, the infant can see and stroll right now. The hatchlings are independent and do not have actually adult treatment provided to them. Hatchlings will certainly expand to their complete dimension by the time they get to one year old.

The real life-span of these reptiles is not understood. Researchers think the life-span is in between 2 to 5 years of ages, although maybe numerous years. They likewise recommend that the life-span can be much longer in bondage yet it has actually not yet been shown.


There is no specific populace number for the eastern fence lizard. A lot more research study is required to establish a precise overall. According to IUCN, there are approximated to be greater than 1,000,000 grownups worldwide. The populace is steady and flourishing. They continue to be in the least worried classification.


  1. eol, Available here: https://eol.org/pages/52233475
  2. IUCN red list, Available here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/64156/12749881
  3. National Wildlife Ferderation, Available here: https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Reptiles/Eastern-Fence-Lizard
  4. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission , Available here: https://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/Learning/documents/Profiles/Reptile/Eastern_Fence_Lizard_2018.pdf
  5. ITIS , Available here: https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=173865#null
  6. Nature Serve Explorer, Available here: https://explorer.natureserve.org/Taxon/ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.893135/Sceloporus_undulatus

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