18 Types of Lizards in Mexico

Types of Lizards in Mexico
Photo by Andra C Taylor Jr

Finding lizards in Mexico can be tricky, especially if you’re only visiting Mexico City or Cancun and not venturing out into the wilds of this beautiful country.

Lizards in Mexico come in all shapes and sizes, but thankfully there are only eight species that pose any threat to humans – these are the ones you need to watch out for!

Read on to learn about the types of lizards in Mexico you should be aware of as you explore this country.

1. Mexican Beaded Lizard

The Mexican beaded lizard is one of the most exciting types of lizards in Mexico. They are native only to Guanajuato and San Luis Potosi, two states located in central Mexico.

These lizards in Mexico have a pattern that looks like a string of beads on their back and can grow up to six inches long. It can also change colors depending on its surroundings, making it difficult for predators to spot them.

2. Painted Turtle-Necked Iguana

These types of lizards in Mexico can grow up to 3 feet long and live primarily on trees. Their primary color is green with brown or black stripes on their backs. These types of lizards are timid creatures and often stay away from people unless they feel threatened.

3. Iguanids

Iguanids are a group of lizards that can be found throughout the world. These types of lizards in Mexico come in various shapes and colors, but they all have one thing in common: they’re huge! So the best place to find these guys is in Mexico.

These creatures can grow up to 8 feet long and weigh over 10 kilograms. Many people mistake iguanids for snakes due to their large bodies and slow movements.

However, there’s one easy way to tell if you’re looking at an iguana and not a snake: if its eyes are on top of its head, it’s a lizard! 

4. Anguidae

The Anguidae family comprises lizards in temperate and tropical regions worldwide. They are also slowworms or glass lizards, but their scientific name means slender lizard.

The family includes about 60 species and three subfamilies: Anguinae, Gerrhonotinae, and Xenopeltinae. 

These types of lizards in Mexico have long slender bodies with tiny legs, which gives them a snake-like appearance.

However, unlike snakes, these reptiles lack external ears and instead have a small hole on the top of their heads called an internal tympanic membrane through which they sense vibrations from the ground. 

They also have nostrils at the tip of their snouts rather than along the side. As a result, some species spend most of their lives in trees where they can stay warm during cold periods by sunning themselves on branches.

In addition, their tails serve as counterbalances when climbing vertical surfaces like trees and fence posts, so they don’t fall off.

5. Anoles

Anoles are types of lizards in Mexico, with about 200 species in the world and 40 living in Mexico. Anoles are popular pets because they are relatively small and make good starter lizards for people who want to get into reptiles. 

Anoles come from Central America, where they live on the ground or in trees near water. They can be found from sea level to as high as 2,000 meters above sea level, but they’re mostly found at elevations less than 900 meters.

Some anole species stay put year-round while others migrate during the rainy season, going up to higher altitudes when it is wetter and down again when it dries up. 

6. Horned Lizards

Horned lizards are lizard species that live in the Americas. They are also horny toads and can be found in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. If you live near a rocky outcrop, you’ll likely see these little critters climbing around on the rocks.

 Horned lizards are diurnal, meaning they’re most active during the day but sometimes come out at night if it’s boiling outside. When people first look at them, they may think they’re cute because of their small size and bright colors but don’t let that fool you! 

These types of lizards in Mexico can pack a punch with their sharp claws and teeth. Besides being aggressive little creatures, horned lowers also have camouflage tricks.

7. Anolis Allison

The Anolis Allison is a type of lizard that typically grows up to 10 cm (3.9 in) long. They are found on the islands of Socorro, Margarita, and Cubagua, off the coast of Venezuela.

This species feeds exclusively on insects, and their diet consists mainly of beetles, cockroaches, and ants. The females lay two or three eggs at a time, which hatch after about two weeks.

There are currently no threats listed for this species, but they are endangered because there is little protection for their habitat. It is also unclear how many exist in the wild due to a lack of data.

8. Spiny Lizards

Spiny lizards are often called horned lizards because they have a row of spines running down their backs. They can be found throughout the American southwest and in the southern parts of Mexico. 

The spiny lizard is typically brown with a red or orange wash, though they can also be greenish or gray. The tail will not be as brightly colored, but it often has some patterning. 

They grow up to 10 inches long and are active during the day, so they are easy to spot if you’re looking for them. While they primarily feed on insects and spiders, they’ll eat small mammals such as mice if given the opportunity.

9. Barisia

The Barisia is a lizard in the Southwestern United States and native to Central America. The Barisia has a round body with three toes on its front feet and four toes on its back feet. Its small and smooth scales make predators very difficult to grab onto.

 This makes the Barisia an excellent climber because it can easily cling onto surfaces such as rocks and tree branches that would typically be too slippery for other lizards.

The Barisia mainly eats insects like grasshoppers and crickets but will occasionally eat small vertebrates such as spiders or frogs. 

Here’s one of the main ways these lizards in Mexico defend themselves against potential attackers. They do this by erecting their large spines along their backs and pointing them at the aggressor, making them look larger than they are.

They usually hiss loudly while they’re doing this. Then, when threatened by prey, they will dart off into the underbrush.

10. Mexican Mole Lizard

The Mexican mole lizard is a small, burrowing animal that spends most of its time underground. These types of lizards in Mexico are only active during the rainy season when they come out to look for food and mating opportunities.

While you may have never heard of them, these little lizards have a pretty important job! They prey on insects and other small creatures so that they can keep your garden pest-free.

The Mexican mole lizard has a long, pointed snout with two protruding nostrils. It has oval-shaped scales that are yellow or brown with dark blotches running down its back.

11. Whiptail lizards

One of the most common types of lizards in Mexico, the whiptail lizard is found across North America, Central America, and South America.

These types of lizards in Mexico have cylindrical body and long tail, which it uses for balance, and they will flatten their body if it feels threatened. They are usually brown or gray with stripes or spots on their back and have orange heads. 

Whiptail lizards are also known as ‘horned toads,’ which come from their defensive behavior when feeling threatened, where they will raise their body and extend their neck and head. They can grow up to 10 inches (25 cm) long, with females being smaller than males.

12. Green Anole

The Green anole is the most common lizard found in North America and can be seen throughout Mexico.

These types of lizards in Mexico prefer to live on trees and shrubs but are also known to climb fences or look for food on the ground. The green anole’s diet consists mainly of spiders, flies, crickets, and other insects. 

They’re only a few inches long when fully grown and usually have bright green skin with brownish spots. If they sense danger, they will quickly hide or flee by jumping off the tree branch and running across the ground.

The green anole has survived despite a significant decrease in population over the past 20 years due mainly to deforestation.

13. Heloderma Exasperatum

The Heloderma exasperated is one of many lizards found in Mexico. They are often mistaken for a species called the Gila monster, but they can be differentiated by their different tail tip and smaller size.

They are also known as Mexican Beaded Lizard or the Mexican Bloodsucker because when they feed on other animals, they press their lower jaw against the wound and release a small amount of venom that helps keep prey still while they drink. 

These types of lizards in Mexico grow up to three feet long and have massive scales. Some people call them Gila monsters because they share features, such as similar head shape and snout shape, but these two lizards are unrelated.

Unlike Gila monsters, who live only in Arizona and New Mexico, Heloderma exasperatum lives all over Northern Mexico, including Sonora (just south of Arizona), Chihuahua (just north of Texas), Durango, Sinaloa, and Nuevo Leon.

14. Crotaphytus Reticulatus

The Crotaphytus reticulatus is a type of lizard found throughout Central America and the Mexican state of Guerrero. It is also called the Central American Spiny Lizard or the Reticulated Anole.

The term reticulated refers to the pattern on its skin, which can be black or brown, with distinct yellow stripes running horizontally along each side. 

They have a long snout for digging, and an ear-like projection on their heads called a parietal eye that helps them detect movement at night.

These types of lizards in Mexico live in trees and bushes but are sometimes found on rocks or grasses. If you spot one, make sure you don’t disturb it as it’s very shy and doesn’t like being handled by humans.

15. Crotaphytidae

The Crotaphytidae family is one of the most diverse groups, containing more than 270 species. These types of lizards in Mexico are found throughout Mexico, Central America, and a small South America.

Some may have bands across their body, while others appear blotchy or striped. Most are burrowers, preferring dark spaces under rocks and logs.

All species grow between 8 and 10 inches (20–25 cm) long as adults. The Crickets’ diet consists primarily of insects, including crickets as a favorite food!

16. Whiptail Lizards

Whiptails can be found throughout the American southwest, from southern California through Texas. They are tiny and slender with an elongated tail that is often mistaken for a snake.

These types of lizards in Mexico can go long distances at high speeds, darting into cover with a quick motion and then stopping on a dime. 

Their tongue is long enough to lick their nose while they are sleeping! The juvenile whiptail lizards feed primarily on ants and spiders, but as they mature, they shift to ground-dwelling beetles, centipedes, scorpions, and other giant insects.

The female lays her eggs under rocks or vegetation during late spring or early summer when it’s too hot for them to move around.

17. Chuckwalla

The chuckwalla is a lizard living in the Sonoran and Mojave deserts. These types of lizards in Mexico are commonly found near trees, bushes, or cacti. They have a large head, short tail, and tiny claws on the tips of their toes for climbing. 

Chuckwallas are usually brown with a red belly and are about 12 inches long when fully grown. The males have larger scales on their backs than females.

Chuckwallas eat mostly bugs like beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers but will also eat spiders if they can catch them. They are known as omnivores because they eat both plants and animals. 

Chuckwallas live alone or in pairs during mating season. Females lay one egg at a time, and hatchlings spend six months living inside their eggs before emerging from them.

Conclusion

As you can see, many different types of lizards exist in Mexico. Some of these types of lizards in Mexico are large and brightly colored, while others are small and secretive. Learning about them will make you realize how diverse the world is! 

They live on land instead of water because they can easily go from one place to another. They also like being exposed to sunlight as it helps them produce vitamin D for their health. 

One type of lizard living here is called a chameleon, which changes color depending on its surroundings. After reading t is, you’ll never loo-you’ll our environment the same way again!

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