Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata


Genus/species: Heloderma horridum

Mexican Beaded Lizard IMG_0335

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Length to 1 m (3 ft) weighing 5-6 pounds. Stout body covered with dark brown and yellow beadlike scales. Powerful limbs, long fat tail. Males usually have broader heads and longer necks than females.

DISTRIBUTION/ HABITAT: Western coast of Sonora, Mexico south to Western Guatemala.
in tropical, deciduous woodland and thorn scrub. Frequently climbs trees. Often diurnal, on very hot days remains in burrows and emerges to hunt at night.

Mexican Beaded Lizard IMG_1679

DIET IN THE WILD: Young rodents, fledgling birds, eggs, reptiles, arthropods. Chemosensorily locates
food with its forked tongue.

LONGEVITY: Thirty years or more.

REMARKS: Venom is used more for defense than for stunning prey. Venom glands are located in the lower jaw (vs. in upper jaw in venomous snakes). At the base of each tooth is a grooved pit for venom delivery.
The two members of this family, which also includes the Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum), are two of the three venomous lizards.  Their tenacious, chewing bite is potentially, though rarely fatal to humans.

The third venomous lizard is the Komodo Dragon.

Waterplanet Desert Cluster WP43

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Mexican Beaded Lizard P1050903