Garden Resident Northern Fence Lizard

My garden is an insect magnet. Last year a resident Northern Fence Lizard moved in to help reduce these insect populations.

This lizard hung out around the raised bed often basking on the rock walls in the late afternoon. She got used to me going back and forth and found me interesting to watch.

I do know my resident Northern Fence Lizard is a female as she was visited by a male wearing his bright blue sides and bobbing his head toward her. She grew fat with eggs after that.

resident northern fence lizard
My garden resident Northern Fence Lizard is sitting on a corner stone of the raised bed watching me carry water buckets from the rain barrels to thirsty plants. Her new tail is short with small, packed brown scales. A male must have visited as her belly is starting to swell with eggs.

As the weather warmed up this year, my resident Northern Fence Lizard appeared on the raised bed walls. She still remembers me and watches me as I go back and forth.

Last year something happened to this lizard’s tail. One day she had a tail. The next day she didn’t. Luckily for us both, she was fine and continued to consume both good and bad insects.

This is one way to recognize this particular lizard. The missing tail has regrown, sort of. The replacement is short and curved.

I don’t know if she eats my number one enemy: squash bugs. She does visit the summer squash bed nearby. I seems doubtful as bugs wiped out three of four plants in two nights.

Northern Fence Lizard head
There are plenty of lizard sized gaps between the stones of the raised bed. When the sun gets too hot for basking on top, my resident lizard slips between the stones. She keeps a head out to check on passing meals or threats.

Other undesired insects are the cucumber beetles and biting flies, deer, horse and stable. These may be more likely. The frogs work on the mosquitoes.

According to “The Amphibians and Toads of Missouri” by Tom R. Johnson of the Missouri Department of Missouri this may be the last year I see my resident Northern Fence Lizard. These lizards only live about three years. She is growing fat with eggs again and could lay two clutches this year.

Perhaps next year I will have one of her baby lizards as my new resident Northern fence Lizard.

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