Recognized Subspecies in VA: None
Size: 4.5 - 7 inches
Status: Least Concern
The Eastern Fence Lizard is probably our most unique native lizard in Virginia. They may be small, brown lizards, but that is about the only mundane part about these guys. They are their only members of their family found in Virginia, and one of only 3 members found on this side of the Mississippi River (the others being Florida Scrub Lizards and the Prairie Lizard). What makes these lizards so different, well the males have an interesting mating ritual. Males have large, royal blue patches on their bellies and throats, and they preform push-ups to attract the female’s eye.
Adult males lack most of the patterning of the juveniles and females, usually appearing one uniform color. Females and juveniles look similar with a lot of zig-zaging whites, grays, and browns. It’s not unusual for them to have orange spots or rings on their tails. This lizard is much more spiny (it’s genus is called the Spiny Lizards) than all of our other lizards.
Similar Species: Really there are no similar species, but sometimes non-herpers may confuse these for Mediterranean Geckos or vice versa.
Maps and External Sources
Herping Virginia encourages all naturalists to practice ethical, safe, and sustainable herping. The use of proper herping methods and techniques is beneficial to both wildlife and herpers. Visit the links below for more information.