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Northern Fence Lizard Sceloporus undulatus hyacinthinus


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Northern Fence Lizard
credit: Ryan Thies/CCSA

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Family: Phrynosomatidae, Earless and Horned Lizards view all from this family

Description 4-7 1/4" (10-18.4 cm). Dark band along rear of thigh. Gray to brown or rusty above, with wavy dark (female) to faint or absent (male) crossbars on back. Males usually marked by black-bordered blue patches on belly and throat. Back and belly scales about same size.

Habitat Generally sunny locations: open woodlands, grassy dunes, often on rotting logs, walls and fences, or in trees.

Range E. Kansas to New Jersey, south to c. South Carolina, southwest to e. Texas, and north through e. Oklahoma. Isolated populations in s. New York and ne. Pennsylvania.

Discussion The Northern Fence Lizard is one of 10 currently recognized subspecies of Sceloporus undulatus. The species is divided into three groups, the fence lizards of the East; the prairie lizards, found from s. South Dakota south through Texas and New Mexico; and the plateau lizards of the Southwest, north to s. Wyoming. The Northern and Southern Fence Lizards overlap in n. Georgia and Alabama.