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Western fence lizards: Do they smell good to flies?

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 at 6:22 am in Uncategorized.

Do western fence lizards smell good to flies? Photo by Marina Chainey, Richmond, CA
1fenceliz marina chainey richmond

Gary:
I was amused watching this lizard on a pine cone with 2 flies.  At first one foolhardy fly landed on it’s back and proceeded upward slowly until it was on the lizard’s head.  The lizard remained absolutely still until finally with a quick flick it ate it.  Incredibly, the other fly then landed on the lizard’s back and the process repeated itself! Is there some secret scent attracting the flies, or it was just sheer luck for the lizard?
Marina Chainey, Richmond, California

Marina:
Sounds like luck to me, although I’ve never bothered to smell a western fence lizard before. I suspect this western fence lizard (aka “blue belly”) crawled through something that had a smell that was attractive to the flies. “Yum, that smells good!” CHOMP! The lizard may be on to something. /Gary

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