Regal horned lizard

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Regal horned lizard
Brdavis - Phrynosoma solare.jpg
Phrynosoma solare
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Lacertilia
Family: Phrynosomatidae
Genus: Phrynosoma
Species: P. solare
Binomial name
Phrynosoma solare
Gray, 1845[1]
Regal Horned Lizard

The regal horned lizard (Phrynosoma solare) is a horned lizard species native to Mexico and the Southwest United States.[2]


The regal horned lizard is a small, flat lizard about the size of the palm of a man's hand. Though it has spikes all around its body, the regal horn’s main defense is the ability to squirt blood from its eyes.


This lizard can be found across southeastern Arizona and along the transition of the southern zone of the central mountains region.[3]


This horned lizard occupies primarily level or gently sloping terrain with openly spaced desert vegetation such as mesquite, creosote bush, and saguaro cactus.[4]


They eat mostly harvester ants, and can eat twenty-five hundred ants in one meal. They are slow eaters, because they spend most of their time in the intense heat of the desert during meals.[5]


This is a year-round active type of lizard, but during winter, its activity is usually restricted to unseasonably warm days. It looks for shelter from cold temperatures by digging holes in the ground. When it is threatened or captured, it squirts blood from its eye. This blood may have a taste used to deter predators. Some other defensive behaviors include gulping air and poking with the horns.


During summer, they can lay up to 33 eggs in a nest excavated in loose soil. The nest is a small chamber at the end of an 14’-in-long tunnel.


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  5. ^ Nature’s Monsters: Lizards, Brenda Ralph Lewis, Gareth Stevens publishing,2006, p. 20-21) Lewis, Brenda (2006). Natures Monsters: Lizards. Milwaukee, WI, USA: Gareth Stevens Publishing. pp. 20–21. ISBN 978-0-8368-6363-5. 

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