The Greater Earless Lizard, It is called "greater" because it grows larger than the earless lizards of the genus Holbrookia, to which they are closely related. Earless lizards have no external ear openings. This seems to be an adaptation so they don't have to worry about getting sand in their ears when they burrow in to escape. In the Tucson area, these lizards are remarkably similar in appearance and behavior to the zebra-tailed lizards, but occupy a different vertical niche: zebra-tailed lizards abound on the desert floor, whereas these earless lizards live higher, up in the foothills.
Ten Facts about Greater Earless Lizard
- About three to seven inches long from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail; males larger than females.
- The Greater Earless Lizard preys primarily on the arthropods, including moths, beetles, grasshoppers, stinging insects (wasps, bees and ants) and spiders.
- n the spring, the lizard begins mating.
- Within about seven weeks, the young hatch, emerging as 2-inch-long copies of the adults.
- Greater earless lizards grow from 3-7 inches in length.
- The Greater Earless Lizard reaches sexual maturity at about one year.
- With good fortune, lives one to two years.
- The Greater Earless Lizard has a higher average "activity temperature" (101.5 degrees Fahrenheit) than most lizards (typically, 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit), which helps explain its love for the desert sun.
- Predators includes racers (snakes), broad-winged hawks, and several small mammals.
- It found in the southern United States, in the states of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, and in Mexico in the states of Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, and San Luis Potosi.