Texas Horned Lizard Facts
- First of all, the Texas Horned Lizard truly remains a remarkably astonishing creature. The reptile also forms one of the 14 known species of spike-bodied reptiles in its native range of habitation.
- Collectively, many people also know the different species within this group by several other common names. These include horned toad and horned frog. However, the group itself remains known as horned lizards.
- Furthermore, this amazing animal historically played a key social role among some groups. That’s because some Native American peoples traditionally considered this animal to be sacred and included it in much of their art.
- Finally, some humans previously kept this species lizard as pets. Quite fortunately, the practice became illegal. Very sadly, for various reasons, the distinctive species now holds a Threatened status with the IUCN.
Texas Horned Lizard Physical Description
Though all species of horned lizard remain rather diminutive in size, the Texas Horned Lizard stands out. That’s due to the fact that, in addition to its other unique attributes, it ranks as the largest of the species in its area.
The lizard also displays a moderate degree of sexual dimorphism in regards to size. The females attain a length of as much as 4.5 in (11.4 cm). Meanwhile, the smaller male reaches up to 3.7 in (9.4 cm) in length. The bodies also develop far more round in shape than most lizards.
Furthermore, its coloring displays a mottling of various shades of brown, gray, and black. The protruding horns of the Texas Horned Devil also form legitimate extensions of its skull and have a composition of solid bone.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Phrynosomatidae
- Genus: Phrynosoma
- Species: P. cornutum
Texas Horned Lizard Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Most notably, the Texas Horned Lizard evolved as native to a specific area of North America. That area includes Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, and northern Mexico, in the United States. Humans have also introduced it into Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas.
Further, despite its rather fearsome appearance, the creature remains remarkably docile. Wild individuals will sit calmly in one’s hand, though this obviously presents dangers for the lizard. Individuals rarely bite, unless directly threatened.
The animal evolved a diet rather similar to many related species. As a result, it remains entirely insectivorous and feeds primarily on harvester ants. However, it will also feed opportunistically on a variety of other insects.
The lizard also developed an unusual defense mechanism. Individuals can project an aimed stream of blood from the corners of the eyes, and from the mouth as well. This blood is also mixed with a chemical to make it extremely foul-tasting.