Leapin' Lizards - Shirlene Chadick
August 2003

Jeff is taking a well-deserved break from the Quayle Report this month. I hope you enjoy the following article!

Sceloporus olivaceus

My first introduction to a Texas Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus olivaceus) occurred about fifteen years ago.

Upon arriving at work one morning I found a huge lizard, which didn't move as I reached to pick it up. I brought it to a veterinarian in our building who identified it as a Horned Toad. When I questioned the fact that this Horned Toad was nearly a foot long, and half of that was tail, my free vet visit promptly ended.

After calls to several other vets, one identified it as a Texas Spiny Lizard and added that it must be ill or injured. I released it immediately, but that brief acquaintance was the beginning of a great infatuation with these gorgeous lizards.

A short time later I bought a house in an older neighborhood where there are a lot of large trees. To my delight, Texas Spiny Lizards were everywhere - dashing up trees, darting into the shrubs, and sunbathing on the deck.

Let me share with you what I've learned about them.

Texas Spiny Lizards are very shy - often the rustle of leaves accompanied by a glimpse of movement is the only clue that you've approached one. I've provided many hiding places in my yard and avoided pesticides and fertilizers - my reward has been an abundance of these wonderful little guys.

I hope you have the good fortune of being host to the Texas Spiny Lizard and are lucky enough to find one sunning on your window sill as you enjoy your morning coffee.

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