In this article, we will explore the life cycle of Garden Lizards and their specific diet. This is a guide to what you can expect from these reptiles in 2022.
Reptile experts say that in the next few decades, Americans will see a boom of reptiles in their yards. Most people don’t realize how important these creatures are to an ecosystem and it’s interesting to explore what many consider pests now.
A garden lizard is a type of reptile that can be found in temperate and tropical regions. They are most often seen on the ground, although they will climb trees to escape danger. Read more in detail here: what do lizards eat.
Because of the sorts of food that reptiles eat, which are frequently pests to people, they are an important element of the food chain. It’s easier to list and examine each prospective lizard attentively rather than generalize backyard lizard feeding habits when answering the question “what do garden lizards eat?”
In the United States, what do garden lizards eat?
The first step in determining what’s on the menu is to identify the sorts of lizards you’re likely to encounter. In the United States, there are 118 species divided into eight families. There are geckos, chameleons, and iguanas among them, as well as lesser-known species including ground lizards, legless lizards, and race runners.
They are mostly found in temperate, subtropical, and tropical climates. The reason for this is because lizards, like other reptiles, are ectotherms, or cold-blooded creatures.
That is, the temperature of the animal is a mirror of its surroundings. Reptiles vary from mammals in that they maintain a constant internal temperature that is unaffected by their environment.
Reptiles also have the following characteristics:
- Dry skin
- Bodies coated with scales
- The inability to chew
- You must have at least one lung.
- There are no sweat glands.
- They have the ability to molt their outer skin.
Getting to the Bottom of What Garden Lizards Eat
Much of what lizards eat is determined by their size, both directly and indirectly, as well as their activity and hunting or foraging technique. You’ll discover anything from little anoles (approximately 3-5 inches long including the tail) to the mighty Komodo dragon (up to 10 feet long).
The menu changes depending on the environment. Their nutrition and environment are inextricably intertwined, showing their flexibility and evolutionary history.
Animal Size and Nutrition
Predation is the main source of food for most lizards. The diet ranges from ants, which horned lizards enjoy, to bird eggs, which Gila monsters eat, and bigger creatures, which a Komodo dragon may hunt.
But it’s not a one-and-done situation. Iguanas, for example, may grow to be 6 feet long yet survive on a plant-based diet with the odd insect for protein.
Other species, such as the Clark’s spiny lizard from the Southwest, are omnivores that consume both meat and plants.
Habitat and Nutrition
Animal species thrive by securing a niche in which they can limit competition from other predators. The more varied the environment, the more probable a lizard will concentrate on a single food source.
This specialization may also be seen in several lizard physical features that have evolved through time to provide lizards a competitive advantage in their niche.
Style of Predation
When you ask, “What do garden lizards eat?” you should also inquire as to how they get their prey. With prey-predator connections, these hunting techniques are common motifs throughout the animal realm.
Some lizards follow their prey, ready to attack or ambush an unsuspecting creature. They actively seek or scavenge for food at other times. The greater their victim, the more stealth they’ll need to get the job done.
Human Influence on What Garden Lizards Eat
People have an impact on lizards’ diets, whether they live in close proximity to humans or are kept as pets. Because food is readily available in the former, we may be able to influence what people consume.
People have a direct influence on what lizards consume in the later. You purchase the mealworms, crickets, or any other food source the animals will eat.
People also contribute to the availability of prey via the plants in our gardens, which influence which species reside in the environments that your backyard reptile guests prefer.
Unfortunately, not all lizards have a happy life.
One of the most serious dangers to many lizard species is habitat loss. Furthermore, non-native invasive plants encroach on their ranges, frequently outcompeting the species they like to consume. In addition, lizards are becoming more vulnerable to outdoor dogs, which is something to bear in mind if you wish to attract lizards to your yard.
Species-by-species breakdown of what garden lizards eat
Then we’ll look at which species are most likely to appear in your yard and what they eat. In comparison to the single species found in New England, the Southwest offers more diversity. The warmer the climate where you reside, the more likely you are to share your home with lizards.
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This lizard may be found all across the Southeast. Because they are docile and simple to handle, they are frequently offered at pet shops. Because of their capacity to change colors for concealment, they are often referred to as chameleons. Flies and crickets are their primary food sources.
Skink with Five Lines
The Skink with Five Lines is ubiquitous along the Eastern Coast, extending up even into Canada. It is the only species found in Massachusetts. It’s a smaller lizard, only reaching about 8 inches in length. You’ll find them in open forests where they can find their favorite foods that include beetles, spiders, and other insects.
Lizard with a Collared Neck (Eastern Collared Lizard)
The Lizard with a Collared Neck (Eastern Collared Lizard) makes its home in the dry areas of the Southwest. It is a striking animal with an orangish head and turquoise body. It is fast and can run on its hind legs. These reptiles eat similar foods like the previous ones, but they will also take other smaller lizards.
Iguana in the Desert
If you live in the scrublands of the Southwest, you may come across the Iguana in the Desert. Unlike the previous species, these lizards are herbivores, eating the native plants of this habitat, particularly the creosote bush.
Lizard with Spines in the Desert
The Lizard with Spines in the Desert is another common lizard of the Southwest that you may encounter if you live in Utah, Nevada, or California. It has a wide head and a black band around its neck.
The lizard’s capacity to change hue in response to temperature allows it to absorb more heat when needed. It feeds on desert caterpillars, centipedes, and tiny lizards.
The Western Banded Gecko is a species of gecko that may be found in
The The Western Banded Gecko is a species of gecko that may be found in is a creature of the night, preferring to hunt at night for young scorpions and insects. They’ll venture close to human dwellings on summer nights, looking for food. The lizard protects itself from predators by mimicking one of its prey items, scorpions.
Skink of the Prairie
The Skink of the Prairie is one of the few species you’ll find in the northern part of the country and even Canada, where it is protected in some areas. Its diet consists of the insects and invertebrates that live in the open grasslands which it prefers.
Wall Lizard of Italy
Its name probably tells you that the Wall Lizard of Italy isn’t from around here. It was introduced and happily lives in the Northeast. As you may guess, the lizard prefers rocky areas but readily adapts to urban areas. It feeds primarily on spiders, beetles, and the occasional wasp.
These lizards are exceedingly adaptable, and their distribution is quickly expanding westward throughout the nation, with reports as far west as Kansas and the Great Plains.
Because their diet often includes insects, spiders, and other pests that we don’t want, these reptiles are frequently welcome guests to any yard. While the majority are carnivores, some eat a variety of foods including fruits, plants, and other lizards.
You may ask, “What do garden lizards eat?” if you see one scampering about. Whatever they can obtain that is smaller than them is the solution.
The “types of lizards” are a diverse group of animals that can be found in the yard. They eat insects, small rodents, and plants.
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