Micke Grove Zoo

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Visit S.J. County Parks & Recreation Website

At the Nature Center you will see

Southern Alligator Lizard

Elgaria multicarinata

Habitat: diverse that include grasslands, chaparral, oak woodlands, and pine forests

Range: U.S.A (in the states of California, Oregon, and Washington)

Natural Diet: Insects, spiders, centipede, small lizards, small birds

Status in the Wild: Common (Least Concern)


Animal Facts

The southern alligator lizard is endemic to the United States. Its distributional range encompasses the states of Oregon, Washington, and California. This species of lizard is dark brown in color and it has a long tail that is almost prehensile in nature. The species like several other species of lizards is able to drop its tail when it is attacked by a predator. By displaying this behavior, the lizard tries to distract the predator while it tries to escape. The tail regenerates over a period of time.

They breed in the summer months and are oviparous with females laying approximately five to 20 eggs in a clutch. Young are known to hatch by October each year.

Conservation: This species is considered locally abundant. Although the expansion of human inhabitation has had a detrimental effect on the numbers of their free-ranging populations, the species has been tolerant to these alterations to its habitat which has lead toa reduction of its decline in the wild.


Visit the Nature Center to watch southern alligator lizards basking during the day


Distributional range 

For the location of the Nature Center, click on the link below

Nature Center Location