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Rio Fuerte Beaded Lizard

Rio Fuerte Beaded Lizard

Rio Fuerte Beaded Lizard Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Heloderma horridum exasperatum
  • Class

  • Order

  • Range

    From southern Sonora to northern Sinaloa in 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

    These lizards become sexually mature between 3–4 years old. They are seasonal breeders with births typically from December–March. Females lay clutches of 1–14 eggs. These eggs can take more than six months to hatch out sometimes.
  • 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 is used as a sense organ.


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