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Yellow Spotted Lizard



There really is such a thing as a Yellow Spotted Lizard. They are night lizards who live in the tropics from Mexico to Panama. The Yellow Spotted Lizard is the largest of the night lizards at 12.7 cm. In color, they are black with yellow spots that run along their sides front to back. They also have yellow coloring on their underneath and yellow bands on their tails.

The Yellow Spotted Lizard does not lay eggs but its offspring are born live. There is, however, a female version of the Yellow Spotted Lizard who produces asexually. A Yellow Spotted Lizard lives a very long life never leaving the rocks near where it is born--often they live to be fifteen years old. They are not sold much as pets and usually will bite a human although they are not poisonous. The characterization of poisonous Yellow Spotted Lizards is usually related to a work of fiction called “Holes,” where the species of lizard was presented as being life threatening.

The Yellow Spotted Lizard has three families with twenty-three different species. The families are Lepidophyma, who live in South America; Cricosaura, who live in Cuba; and Xantusia, who live in the Southwestern United States and California. They look a lot like snakes because they have a very smooth head and flat body, plus they have the same type of eyes that are covered by transparent membranes. These serve pretty much as eyelids. The Yellow Spotted Lizard eats both insects and plants, including scorpions and invertebrates.

Yellow Spotted Lizards are not often seen during the day and people once believed they were nocturnal. They are not but spend all of their days in rotten logs and other such places looking for food. Even if they should come outside they are lying under leaves or in rock crevices. Some even live in caves. Hot weather is also a deterrent to their outside excursions.

As a night lizard, the Yellow Spotted Lizard has similar qualities to the skinks, geckos, whiptails, tegus and wall and rock lizards. Scientists believe they have been around for in the range of fifty million years. They still do not know much about the Yellow Spotted Lizard’s behavior or habits.

A similar situation exists with others in the night lizard family. A relative of the Yellow Spotted Lizard, the desert night lizard spends most of its time day and night in clumps of yucca and agave plants. Even though the lizard can be so numerous that there could be up to 12,000 in one square mile, they are rarely seen by humans. This situation may change though as more and more yucca plants are uprooted to make room for housing and the lizard is crowded out.


 

 


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