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Northern Alligator Lizard Elgaria coerulea (Gerrhonotus coeruleus)


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Northern Alligator Lizard
credit: Meggar

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Family: Anguidae, Anguid Lizards view all from this family

Description Distinct skin fold on their sides, separating the keeled scales on the back from the smooth ventral scales. Brownish in color and often have dark blotches that sometimes blend together into bands. Belly is light gray, eyes are dark.

Dimensions 22.2-33cm. (8 3/4-13")

Subspecies San Francisco - back blotched. San Francisco Bay.
Sierra - lacks blotches on back. Sierra Nevada mountains.
Northwestern - unmarked. Oregon to Washington Cascade mountains, to Idaho & Montana.
Shasta - blotches on back. Cascades, Oregon to Sierra Nevada, California.

Breeding Breeds April-June depending on elevation. Earlier in lower elevations. Live young born, 2-5 in a litter, after 7-10 weeks.

Habitat Woodland rotting logs, bark and under rocks at 10,500' (3,200m)

Range Sierra Nevada, California, British Columbia, Idaho to Montana.

Discussion Diurnal. Likes cooler temperatures. Active during daytime. Insects, millipedes and spiders form main diet.