Fun Coast Range Fence Lizard Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 02, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 13, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
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Coast range fence lizard facts are fascinating!

The coast range fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis bocourtii) is a subspecies of western French lizards in the family Phrynosomatidae. The adults of this species are about 2.25-3.5 in (5.7-8.9 cm) long from their snout to vent.

They are found in the United States and the subspecies is endemic to California. These creatures show diurnal behavior, love basking in the sun, and can often be seen on fences and rocks while sunbathing.

They can be seen very often in the right habitat as they live close to populated areas. They are dark brown, gray, or black in color and are covered in scales.

Adult males of this species have a blue patch on their throat and a blue belly. The females either have no blue on them or a very faint blue on the underside of their bellies.

The males make a display of their blue throat to attract mates. These lizards are carnivorous and eat a variety of insects and arthropods such as spiders, wasps, termites, ants, centipedes, and scorpions.

Their mating season is in the spring and the eggs hatch in August to September. The juveniles also have little to no blue on their bellies.

If you like what you read, do check out Texas horned lizard and collared lizard.

Coast Range Fence Lizard Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a coast range fence lizard?

The coast range fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis bocourtii) is a reptile that is most commonly seen in the western part of the United States. It is the lower classification of western fence lizards.

What class of animal does a coast range fence lizard belong to?

The coast range fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis bocourtii) is a reptile, belonging to the class Reptilia. They also belong to the family Phrynosomatidae.

How many coast range fence lizards are there in the world?

The exact number of adult coast range fence lizards is not unknown. However, according to the IUCN Red List, the population of adult coast range fence lizards exceeds 100,000 and is in the many millions.

Where does a coast range fence lizard live?

The coast range fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis bocourtii) is found in the United States of America. They are endemic to California in San Francisco Bay Area south to Santa Barbara County.

What is a coast range fence lizard's habitat?

Coast range fence lizards prefer open, sunny habitats. They like woodlands, grasslands, forests, and suburban dwellings. They love places where there is abundant sunlight for basking such as fence posts, woodpiles, walls, rocks, and open trail edges. They like warm weather and in the cold winter, they find shelter in burrows and crevices, under rocks, and trees.

Who do coast range fence lizards live with?

Coast range fence lizards live their life alone. They don't stay in packs and are seen near or on rocks, trees, fences, and roads.

How long does a coast range fence lizard live?

The lifespan of these lizards can extend up to six years. However, they often fall prey to snakes and other carnivorous birds and die in their initial years.

How do they reproduce?

The mating season of coast range fence lizards begins in spring. Mating takes place from March to June.

The females dig burrows in the ground and lay eggs about two to four weeks after mating. They lay one to three clutches of eggs which all have from three to 17 eggs in May- July. These eggs take about 60 days to hatch and the eggs hatch during August and September.

What is their conservation status?

 The IUCN Red List has declared the coast range fence lizard population to be stable and is categorized under the conservation status of Least Concern.

Coast Range Fence lizard Fun Facts

What do coast range fence lizards look like?

The coast range fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis bocourtii) is a small species of lizard found in California. They are about 2.25-3.5 in (5.7-8.9 cm) long from snout to vent.

They have overlapping keeled scales on their bodies. The scales on their backs and sides have spines on them. They are usually black, gray, or brown in color and have dark blotches all over their bodies.

Their bodies have irregular patterns and stripes all over them. One of the most interesting features about these lizards is that the adult males of this species have bright blue patches on their throats and blue bellies.

The scales on their backs also seem bluish or greenish when light hits them. The males also have a swollen tail base.

Adult female lizards have little to no blue markings on the belly, just like the juveniles. The scales on their backs also do not appear to be bluish or greenish. They have dark crescent-shaped bars on their backs.

The females also do not have a swollen tail base like the males. The males do push-ups and bob their heads to display their throats with blue markings to attract potential mates.

Learn more about this amazing fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis bocourtii, in this article.

How cute are they?

Coast range fence lizards cannot be considered typically cute due to their appearance. To people that love reptiles, these reptiles surely are beautiful.

How do they communicate?

Not much is known about how these lizards communicate with each other since they are usually solitary animals. The males are very territorial and use head bobbing as a threatening posture to scare off other males.

They can even start fighting with each other to defend their territories. The males also use head bobbing and push-ups as a way to attract females to mate with them.

Their head bobbing and push-ups display their blue ventral colors on their throats. This is one of the ways through which the males of this species attract the females.

How big is a coast range fence lizard?

The coast range fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis bocourtii) is about 2.25-3.5 in (5.7-8.9 cm) long from snout to vent. They are about the same size as a Texas horned lizard.

How fast can a coast range fence lizard move?

The exact speed of this species is not known. Even though they spend most of the time sitting around basking in the sun, they are predators that can catch prey pretty fast.

How much does a coast range fence lizard weigh?

The exact weight of a coast range fence lizard is not known. These lizards are pretty small and are light weight.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Unfortunately, there are separate names for the male and female species and they are known by the same scientific name. They are simply called male coast range fence lizards and female coast range fence lizards.

What would you call a baby coast range fence lizard?

There are no specific names for baby lizards. A baby fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis bocourtii) can be referred to as a juvenile or a hatchling when it is born.

What do they eat?

These lizards search for and catch prey twice daily. Their diet consists of invertebrates that include wasps, crickets, moths, ants, termites, grasshoppers, centipedes, and spiders when kept in their natural habitat.

They also feed on arthropods such as centipedes and scorpions in a few instances. They use their tongue to catch the insects from the ground. It is interesting to note that these fence lizards when young eat the black widow spider that is considered to be one of the deadliest spiders in the world.

The females of this species in order to save energy for giving birth are seen eating more during spring. When they are kept as pets in captivity, they eat flies and invertebrates like worms.

Are they poisonous?

They were considered to be venomous by a huge number of people, however, there is no reliable evidence about them being so. They are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

The western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) is often kept at home although it is better to leave them in their natural habitat and not in captivity.

Did you know...

This coast range fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis bocourtii) shows diurnal behavior and is often found sunbathing in their habitats.

The bright blue bellies are not present or very faint in females and when they are juvenile.

The males do push-ups on the rocks to impress and attract the females.

The coast range fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis bocourtii) hibernates under crevices and rocks during winters.

There is a protein present in the blood of the western fence lizard. This protein helps in killing the bacterium responsible for causing Lyme disease. This disease is carried by ticks in the Northern Hemisphere. An infected tick while feeding on the blood of the western fence lizards gets the bacteria killed and frees itself from the disease.

How many babies does coast range fence lizard have?

The females lay eggs in clutches between 3-16 and they hatch after two months.

Do western fence lizards eat fruit?

Coast range fence lizards are carnivores and do not eat fruit. Their diet comprises arthropods and invertebrates both in their natural habitat and in captivity.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these African fat-tailed gecko facts and mangrove snake facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable lizard coloring pages.

Second image by Alan Vernon

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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