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Mexican Beaded Lizard Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Heloderma horridum
  • Class

    Reptiles
  • Order

    Sauria
  • Range

    Throughout western Mexico

  • Habitat

    Found in dry, open forests with abundant rocks and sparse vegetation. Burrows to avoid the midday heat.

  • Niche

    Carnivorous: eats insects, spiders, other small invertebrates, lizards, snakes, rodents, birds and eggs. Primarily terrestrial. They are frequently found in abandoned mammal burrows and near sources of permanent water. Preyed upon by large mammals and birds of prey.

  • Life History

    Mating occurs mostly in the spring. Between 3-13 eggs laid in mid-to-late summer and buried in sand at a depth of about 5 inches. Incubation is 117-130 days.

  • Special Adaptations

    • Paired salivary glands produce a venom injected through a groove in the teeth that paralyzes prey.
    • Must chew their victim in order to inject poison.
    • The tail is used to store energy for times when food is scarce.
    • Long claws are used for digging.
    • Tongue used as a sense organ.

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2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 • 312-742-2000

2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 Get Map/Directions Call 312-742-2000

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