Eastern Collard Lizard

Crotaphytus collaris
The name "collared lizard" comes from the lizards' distinct coloration, which includes bands of black around the neck and shoulders that look like a collar. It is a member of the collared lizard family. They are very active and predatory lizards, requiring a large amount of space to run. They prefer high temperatures, up to 105–110 °F (41–43 °C) at their basking spot and 80 °F (27 °C) elsewhere in their habitat during the day. Some collared lizards eat small amounts of fruit or vegetables, but most prefer a diet of insects. They will also consume vertebrate prey, including small mammals and other lizards. Like many reptiles, in captivity they must be provided a diet supplemented with extra calcium and a light source with a UVB radiation to reduce the risk of bone disorders. The origin of the name "mountain boomer" is not clear, but it may date back to settlers traveling west during the Gold Rush. One theory is that settlers mistook the sound of wind in canyons for the call of an animal in an area where the collared lizard was abundant. In reality, collared lizards are silent. Harry W. Greene, Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University, points out the accentuated orange/red of this female indicates a "not interested" phase in her cycle. (Photo: Karen L. Wallace-Massey)

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