Lizards are Garden Good Guys

Lizards are definitely good for the garden. These easy to identify inhabitants, with their dry, scaly skin, four legs with clawed feet, and long tail, are generally six to nine inches long. You might find them basking in warm, sunny places or scampering around rocks, brush piles or other small, confined areas, fences and buildings. Being cold-blooded, they hibernate during winter months.

As carnivores, lizards dine on insects, predominantly ants, aphids, beetles and grasshoppers, along with wasps and spiders, helping to keep down pest populations. These beneficial creatures are also the favored meal of raptors and other birds, carnivorous mammals and snakes. Equipped with a fragile, detachable tail, when threatened, they drop it. The off-loaded tail continues to wiggle, deflecting attention from the predators, while the lizard runs off to safety.  This apparent method of self- preservation does no harm and most will re-grow their tail over time.

If you’re fortunate enough to have these guys in your garden, watch for one to come out into the open and start doing push-ups – yes, like a new soldier at boot-camp, bursts of rapid ups and downs.  Supposedly this is a form of communication between them, behavior comparable to birds chirping. Quite amusing to watch.

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