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Texas Horned Lizard

Phrynosoma cornutum


The Texas horned lizard or "horny toad" is a flat-bodied and fierce-looking lizard. The head has numerous horns, all of which are prominent, with two central head spines being much longer than any of the others. This lizard is brownish with two rows of fringed scales along each side of the body. On most Texas horned lizards, a light line can be seen extending from its head down the middle of its back. It is the only species of horned lizard to have dark brown stripes that radiate downward from the eyes and across the top of the head.


They can be found in arid and semiarid habitats in open areas with sparse plant cover. Because horned lizards dig for hibernation, nesting and insulation purposes, they commonly are found in loose sand or loamy soils. Texas horned lizards range from the south-central United States to northern Mexico, throughout much of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico.


The above information came from the Texas Parks and Wildlife website: I believe this is the same individual I saw for two years. Unfortunately, I found him at the beginning of spring 2010. He'd fallen into the water meter box and had either frozen or starved to death.

3 Species ID Suggestions

Horny Toad
Phrynosoma coruntum
Horny Toad
Phrynosoma cornutum
Zenyn 12 years ago
Horny toad

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MargaretT 12 years ago

Awww! Poor little thing.

LoriGladden-Chisholm 12 years ago

My sisters and I used to catch them all the time when we were kids growing up in West Texas. Sadly they are now a threatened species, and I rarely see them any longer. I haven't seen another one in over a year.

If you gently rub the top of the head between the "horns" the lizard will shut his eyes and look as if he's asleep.

alicelongmartin 12 years ago

He does not look like the kind you want to pick up.

Fort Stockton, Texas, USA

Spotted on Jun 30, 2008
Submitted on Feb 28, 2011

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