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Western Fence Lizard

Sceloporus occidentalis


Western fence lizards measure 5.7-8.9 cm (snout-vent length) and a total length of about 21 cm. They are brown to black in color (the brown may be sandy or greenish) and have black stripes on their backs, but their most distinguishing characteristic is their bright blue belly and throat. The ventral sides of the limbs are yellow. This bright coloration is faint or absent in both females and juveniles.


The western fence lizard occupies a variety of habitats. It is found in grassland, broken chaparral, sagebrush, woodland, coniferous forest, and farmland, and occupies elevations from sea level to 10,800 ft. They generally avoid the harsh desert.


Common lizard of California and the surrounding area; also found in eastern and southwestern Oregon. The ventral abdomen of an adult is characteristically blue, therefore it is also known as the blue-belly lizard.

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Eva Varga
Eva Varga 5 years ago

I can't catch them either. This one was caught by my son, who insists he's on a friendly basis with the local lizards. He catches and releases them all the time. I need to devise an experiment so he can learn more.

LuisStevens 5 years ago

I can never catch them! Great find and catch Eva.

Eva Varga
Spotted by
Eva Varga

Redding, California, USA

Spotted on Oct 11, 2013
Submitted on Jul 24, 2014

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