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2.5-7 in (6.4-17.8 cm)*
|34 mm (1.3 in)
||More than 30 g (1.1 oz)
||0.55 g (0.02 oz)
*12 inches total length
Source: Stebbins, Robert C. 2003. Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 3rd Edition. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
- Slender, snake-like body, short legs, large head with strong jaws, and a distinctive, slightly forked tongue (Lemm 2006)
- General coloration on upper side: brown, gray, reddish or yellowish with dark vertical crossbars spotted with white
- Tail length up to twice its body length
- Little difference between the sexes
- Some males have heads a little wider than females
- Males are not more than 10 % larger than females overall
- Difficult for observers to determine sex by casual inspection
- Like all members of the Anguid family, body covered with overlapping bony plates underneath the scales (Ditmars 1933)
- Scales on belly are strongly keeled
- A prominent skin fold runs down both sides the length of the body; this fold allows flexibility when lungs are expanded, when large volumes of prey consumed, and perhaps when eggs distend the body cavity (Stebbins 1966)
- Yellow eyes (northern species have dark eyes)
- Tongue slightly forked at tip
- Aids in gathering air-borne scents
- Odors are transferred to scent organ in roof of mouth (Ditmars 1933)
Body of Southern Alligator Lizard
Southern Alligator Lizards can be seen in a variety of coloration patterns.
Note how this lizard's tail is regrowing.
Image credit: Alan Schimerer via Flickr. Public domain.
Wiens and Slingluff (2001)