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Alligator lizard breeding is pretty rough

By Gary Bogue
Thursday, May 10th, 2012 at 5:22 am in Alligator lizard.

Breeding alligator lizards. Male is holding female’s head. Photo by Niki & Tim Bowden, Felton, CA
1alligator liz niki & tim bowden felton

Gary:
On two occasions little more than a week apart recently we have stepped out our back door onto a scene of primitive savagery we have not experienced in over 35 years in these woods. The figures were frozen each time as you see above.

In the first instance, the predator, if that’s what he was, scurried away from the walkway with his prey at least 30 minutes after they were first observed. In both cases, they were locked together and still for long periods.  Can you give us some idea what this drama is about and who are the players?
Niki & Tim Bowden, Felton, California

Niki & Tim:
These are two alligator lizards … mating. The male grabs and holds the female by the head and they wrestle around a lot and finally breed. As you observed, it’s pretty rough and tumble and primitive. The “event” can sometimes last for a few hours. /Gary

Breeding alligator lizards. Male is holding female’s head. Photo by Niki & Tim Bowden, Felton, CA
1alligator2 liz niki & tim bowden felton

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