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Palacio's Bunchgrass Lizard


Central Mexico


Found at elevations up to 10,000 feet in fir and hardwood forests near clumps of grasses.


These lizards are most active during the day. They are often seen scurrying between clumps of grass or on the base of trees.


During breeding season, the males flash their blue bellies at rivals to display dominance. Unlike most lizards, bunchgrass lizards give live birth—an adaptation for the high altitudes and lower temperatures at which they reside. By carrying their babies throughout the gestation period, the young are better developed and adapted for survival than if they had hatched from eggs. Females lay two to nine eggs.

Interesting Facts:

Due to the lower temperatures at higher elevations, this species of Sceloporus gives birth to live young.

About Our Animals:

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service confiscated these lizards at the Salt Lake International Airport.


Although not endangered, these lizards are impacted by habitat destruction due to heavy grazing by sheep and cattle and by the pet trade.

Did YOU Know?
The blue stomach of the male is used in a territorial display to ward off rival males.
Palacio's Bunchgrass Lizard
Class: reptile
Order: Squamata
Family: Iguanidae
Genus: Sceloporus
Species: palaciosi
Zoo Diet: Crickets
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building

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2600 East Sunnyside Avenue | Salt Lake City, Utah 84108 | (801) 584-1700