Texas Horned Lizard

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Species group:

Other common names: Horny Toad

Scientific name: Phrynosoma cornutum

The basics:
The Texas Horned Lizard is the largest, and most common of the 14 species of horned lizard in North America. It is native to arid and semi-arid landscapes with sparse vegetation, from the Sonoran Desert in Mexico to the plains of Kansas and Oklahoma. Phrynosoma cornutum has also been introduced and is established in several areas in the southeastern United States, including North Carolina and Florida.

While the Texas Horned Lizard is listed in the category of "least concern" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the lizard's population has declined in certain areas such as Texas because of declines in harvester ant populations due to the spread of fire ants, pesticides, and over-collecting for the pet trade. The Texas Horned Lizard is now a protected species in some states, and it is illegal to take, possess, transport or sell them without a special permit.

Appearance / health:
The Texas Horned Lizard is about 7 - 7.5 inches long from nose to the end of its tail. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, "The Texas horned lizard or "horny toad" is a flat-bodied and fierce-looking lizard. The head has numerous horns, all of which are prominent, with two central head spines being much longer than any of the others. This lizard is brownish with two rows of fringed scales along each side of the body. On most Texas horned lizards, a light line can be seen extending from its head down the middle of its back. It is the only species of horned lizard to have dark brown stripes that radiate downward from the eyes and across the top of the head."


truly fascinating


harvester ants, nutritional needs, pet trade, quick deaths, Troublesome Beasts


live crickets, conservation efforts, science class, feisty little guys, horny toads

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