What Eats Lizards – Lizard Predators

As a young kid I used to run after lizards in the rocks. In the scorching sun they would come out and go up on rocks with their heads raised up and go still for a moment. I was always fascinated by these scenes.

The smaller lizards seen on walls of my house I thought were the kids of the larger ones on rocks. Lizards are amazing creatures. If you have got a pet lizard, you must already know that. But if you don’t yet have one let me tell you they can be a great pet, but they need a proper care, special lighting, and special foods. They are unique as pet, and friendly if you know how to deal with them.

I would love to share my personal experiences and knowledge with you. Among other things it is important to know that lizards can be in danger of being prey to a lot of animals.

So, What eats lizards?

A lot of animals including birds, snakes and flesh-eating mammal prey on lizards and eat them. Anything in the lower-middle level of predators are found to attack and eat lizards. Snakes and birds are the two most common lizard eaters. All snakes are found to prey on all the lizards except those lizards that are much larger in size to them. Similarly most of the flesh-eating birds also prey on lizards.

Also, almost all larger lizard prey on the smaller ones, specially the young one that usually lack protection. In fact, an astonishing 50% of the young ones end up being prey to other animals. Some of the wild animals including leopard, wolves, foxes and wild dogs eat lizards occasionally. While crocodiles, possum, spider, raccoons, toads, fish, dingoes and feral cats all love eating lizards whenever they get a chance.

What predator the lizards have to face depends on their size and the species. The smaller the size and the softer the skin, the more vulnerable the lizard would be.

 

What Animals eat lizards the most?

Birds are a very common predator of Lizards. Since lizards enjoy being out in the open to be in the sunlight, they are vulnerable to birds because of their position in the air and their excellent vision. Larger birds of prey such as hawks, owls and eagles hunt, kill and eat lizards. Snakes are also a common predator and some snakes feed almost entirely on lizards. The fact that snakes can be both on land and in the trees means that the lizards are at far more risk. Moreover, snakes can swallow prey whole so they can consume lizards several times their own size, making their range of victims wider.

Lizards also eat a lot of smaller lizards. Even the same species of lizards can be a predator of the young and since there is no maternal protection of the young that are born, they are such an easy prey. There is a mortality rate of more than fifty percent when we talk of the newborn lizards.

Similarly, many species of mammals such as weasels also feed on lizards. Although there are hundreds of different type of lizard species, they are commonly on the lower end of the food chain and a lot of animals depend on them for their food needs.

 

Monitor Lizards

Since they are native to Africa, Asia, and Oceania which is also home to some of the larger animals such as crocodiles, pythons, leopards and eagle, Monitor Lizard end up being prey to all of them. The young Monitor Lizards and some of the smaller species are eaten by fish, herons, smaller snakes, adults of their own species and invasive mammals. Generalist predators such as foxes and cats also prey on young monitors. Humans are also natural enemies of monitor lizards. They raise and feed on Monitor Lizards.

Monitor lizards are relatively large lizards, therefore, they are less vulnerable compared to the smaller ones.  Out of the eighty known species of Monitor Lizards, some do not have any known predators but most of them get attacked and eaten by other animals.

Draco Lizards

Draco Lizard live in forests and their main predators include all the tree-living snakes, large flesh-eating bird that are native to forests, and monitor lizards. Draco Lizards are unique species of lizards with an ability to have short flights. They live on trees. Draco lizards are quite successful in protecting themselves from predators compared to other species of lizards. They have folds of skin on each side of their bodies. When the lizard extends the skin folds, they look like wings. These “wings” enable them to glide for long distances in their forest habitat.

what animals eat smaller lizards
For many Animals Lizards are great source of food

Smaller lizards

Mammals, birds, other reptiles and some invertebrates eat small lizards. Among the most important predators are elapid snakes which feed predominantly or entirely on lizards. The pygopodid lizard is an ambush predator of lizards and they captures smaller lizards such as skinks almost exclusively. Other reptile predators recorded as preying on small lizards include varanids and the colubrid snake.  Foxes and domestic cats regularly include lizards as a minor dietary component but do not depend on them for food. Some spiders and the centipede have also been observed feeding on lizards.

There are a number of wild animals out there that can be dangerous for lizards. A variety of different mammals consume small lizards or their eggs. These mammals include wild canines, fox, wild cats and dogs. In some location coyotes are a huge threat to the lizards. Even leopards and wolves are believed to prey on them. They can be under threat from pet cats and dogs as well. Depending on the types of wild animals that are native to a given location and depending on the availability of different food sources for them, many wild animals are believed to feed on lizards as snacks.

 

Rock dwelling lizards

The few predators that could pursue this lizard are snakes, bigger lizards, certain mammals and flesh-eating birds such as hawks, ravens, and roadrunners.

The Bermuda skink is a rock lizard that has been listed on the IUCN Red List as critically endangered. It is threatened among other things, by predators introduced by humans such as cats, rats, American crows, chickens, great chickadees, yellow crowned night herons, cane toads and anoles.

 

Do foxes eat lizards?

Foxes can eat almost anything including lizards but do not wholly depend on them for food. However, foxes do not spare lizards when they are available. Coastal foxes eat lizards, if they can get them. Similarly the red fox is also seen eating lizards.

Do snakes eat lizards?

All snakes are strictly carnivorous, eating small animals including lizards. Many snake species readily eat lizards. Small skink lizards are the most commonly used lizards for food, perhaps because they can be digested fairly easily. In terms of ease and difficulty to digest food, the general trend with snakes is with regards to digestion, the more difficult to digest the less probable the lizard will end up being prey.

The most commonly used kinds of food for captive snakes also include lizards. With the kind of lizards that snakes eat, there are obvious variations, such as different kinds of lizards presenting different skins and hence varying levels of digestibility accordingly.

What animals eat lizards in the desert?

Lizard predators in deserts can include other lizards such as collared lizards, birds such as roadrunners, and avian predators such as hawks and ravens. Depending on the type of desert, foxes, dogs, wolves, as well as coyotes, wild cats and some other carnivorous mammals are observed to prey on lizards in deserts.

A number of lizard species have adapted to life in the desert. Some of them have toes fringed with spiny scales to help them run across the sand without sinking. Others burrow into the sand to hide from predators.

What eats lizards in the rainforest?

Forest Lizards are not any different to other lizards, in terms of what predators they have to face. These lizards are commonly preyed upon by a number of creatures, such as hawks, snakes and other lizards. Although there are hundreds of different type of lizard species in the rainforest, they are commonly on the lower end of the food chain. And these lizards are snacks for a wide variety of predators, including some spiders. Depending on availability some wild animals such as dogs, wolves and foxes also prey on these lizards, but that is not very common.

Some of the lizard species common to rainforest are eaten by people. Moreover, they are also vulnerable to predation by feral cats, and neither are they safe from a pack of wild dogs.

Many lizards live in forests and they have some extra safety mechanisms. They may be green to blend in with the leaves or brown to blend in with the tree trunk or branches. Some of them may even look like a leaf. Also tree-dwelling lizards are excellent climbers, and some have claws to grip on branches. Others have special pads on their toes that allow them to cling to small branches and leaves. All these traits and skills provide them natural protection.

what eats rock dwelling lizards?
what eats rock dwelling lizards?

 

Related Questions.

Do Lizards play dead?

Lizards play dead. The amazing video by BBC Earth that went viral a few years ago shows how a newly hatched lizard freezes next to an advancing snake minutes after coming out of an egg. Lizards adopt differing defenses for specific predators among which is playing dead to deceive a predator that has caught them or is about to do so. Experts believe that lizards “play dead” by maintaining a rigid posture or by simulating fully relaxed muscles.

Playing dead is a popular phenomenon which they call “play possum”. This instinctive action by the lizards can be an effective way of disappearing from the menu of the predator because a number of predators, especially the reptiles, need the vibration or sounds of a movement to detect where the lizard is. Immobility, thus, discourages sequential attacks, allowing the lizard to escape.

Do cats eat lizards?

Cats are natural predators. Either they are in the wild or the one that you have in your home, they can prey on anything and everything that they thought was in their grasp. Cats are thought to kill more wildlife than previously believed. Apart from preying on birds and mouse, cats attack with lizards as well, especially the ones that don’t appear dangerous. For example, the Northern America lizard because of their small size is easy cats to catch and eat. Fortunately, these small lizards, like the tiny gecko or anole, are not poisonous for dogs and cats to eat.

That being said, all of you who have a pet cat at home, keep this in mind that eating a lizard is still not completely safe for your cats. Along with the dangers of toxicity and infection, lizards also carry liver flukes, parasites that may be fatal for your cat (or for your neighbors’ cat if your pet lizard was on its menu) if they got stuck in her bile duct.

What animal eats geckos?

A large variety of predators will hunt and eat geckos. In fact they have quite a high number of natural predators due to their small size. Snakes are the main predators of geckos. Geckos predators also include small, swift-footed meat eaters such as ferrets, weasels and stoats. Moreover, some unlikely predators, that include the hedgehogs and mice have also been seen feeding on geckos, as are rats and possums.

The principle threats to geckos world-wide are, however, habitat destruction and predation by these numerous flesh-eating creatures.

What are some birds that eats Lizards?

Many kinds of birds eat small lizards. Larger birds of prey such as hawks, owls and eagles hunt, kill and eat lizards. Life is not easy for most kinds of lizards because these birds, circling over them all day long can readily see them from top and can without even them knowing come down and prey on them. Some of the birds that are known to prey on lizards include Black Vulture, Crested Caracara, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Greater Roadrunner, Gull-billed Tern, Harris’s Hawk, Herring Gull, Hood Mockingbird, Laughing Kookaburra, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Pygmy Falcon, Roadside Hawk, Roadside Hawk, Turkey Vulture and Yellow-crowned.