April 5, 2013

A Tale of Three Lizards …

If you’re not fond of reptiles, you may want to skip this post.  If, however, you don’t mind a lizard or two … or three, read along for a humorous story. 


About a year ago, Big Dude found a quite large alligator lizard under our bar-b-que.  The Teen decided he wanted to keep this particular lizard (unlike our usual catch & release modus operandi) and bought and built a habitat.  Because we’re all well versed in Swamp People characters, we named our alligator lizard Clint.  Problem:  two weeks later “Clint” layed eggs.  So we renamed her ‘Lizbeth (another Swamp People character).  


Then, this last December, while doing yard work, we found an even larger alligator lizard in our garbage can.  Because it was a particularly cold snap, we kept this lizard too, albeit in a different habitat.   Alligator lizards have a fierce reputation for not getting along.  We named him Clint.  Post-cold-snap, we released Clint in our backyard. 


Fast forward to this week.  We found this humongous alligator lizard hanging out on Liz’s cage.  male 1 arrivesmale 1 is long

IMG_3388We thought this lizard must surely be Clint.  Alligator lizards aren’t exactly populous in our yard.  LARGE allies are even less frequent.  And this allie was mild-mannered and friendly (totally not typical), just like Clint had been.  The coloring was a little different and the tail seemed longer, but we figured he could have changed in the last few months.  Anywhooo, long story shorter:  it’s mating season, and we let him into the cage.habitat for twohabitat for two 2habitat for two 3And we watched.  Clint checked out the whole habitat; climbed here, climbed there, licking everywhere.  I stopped watching after awhile, came inside, and then heard the Teen agitatedly saying, “No, GET HIM OUT, he’s EATING HER!”  (remember:  allies are stereotypically violent with each other)


I did a quickie Google search and determined that he was definitely not trying to eat her.  The dudes let him go back in, and the duo quickly got down to bizness, lizard style: IMG_3435Within the hour, yet another big allie showed up on the habitat mesh.  The Real Clint.  Stubby tail and all.IMG_3448He chased off the imposter.  And took up residence himself.  The two are, so far, living happily ever after.  We’ve already googled how to incubate the eggs we’re sure to find in a couple months.IMG_3750clint is back

Thus concludes this week’s tale of three lizards.  I promise to post more poppies tomorrow to bring pretty back to the blog.


gaylene said...

Wow! Nice natural science lesson for your kids. I've never seen a lizard with that long of a tail before. Crazy!

Anita Johnson said...

My husband was a herpetology guy...he would love this. We had those little green anoles for awhile in a terrarium, conditions were good and the laid eggs that hatched...pretty fun. Your kids might like to see the turtles that hatched at our fields...look on my sidebar under turtles. I do like the poppies better myself, but this is fascinating!

Tracy P. said...

Well there you go. Life cycles at their finest. That last face is awesome. :-)

Christina said...

Oh my! My kids would think this was so cool!! And I have a nephew who would too. I am content to read about it on your blog, however... :)

Tracey said...

And you're planning on doing what with the eggs and the lizards that hatch from them???????????

This is where our families depart similarities.

Yes more poppies please.