Horned lizards are fascinating creatures that are found in the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico.
These lizards are distinguished by the horns on their head and tail, which they use to defend themselves from various predators.
Horned lizards can also change color to match their surroundings, making them very difficult to see in the wild!
Horned lizards are ant predators, eating certain kinds of ants, and avoiding other kinds. In this article, we will look at the diet of horned lizards, including more details on these incredible creatures!
Read on for an ultimate guide to horned lizards, let’s dive in!
What Do Horned Lizards Eat?
Horned lizards are a type of lizard that is found in North American desserts. They get their name from the horns on their head and tail which they use to defend themselves against predators.
Horned lizards also can spray blood from their eyes to frighten predators, giving themselves time to flee. They also have spikes covering their body, also helping to protect them.
Horned lizards are insectivores, meaning their diet mainly consists of insects. This is different from the majority of lizards, as they are usually carnivores.
The main source of food for horned lizards is ants. However, horned lizards do not eat all types of ants, instead favoring some over others.
These lizards particularly prefer red harvester ants. They make up around 90% of the food that a horned lizard consumes. This is because they are rich in fat and protein, ensuring the horned lizard’s survival.
These ants are also high in formic acid. This is perfect for lowering the blood pressure of the lizard, which is essential for living in the desert.
The acid in these ants helps the lizards to survive in extreme conditions.
Red ants are also much larger than other ant species, meaning they are easy prey for horned lizards.
What Other Ants Do Horned Lizards Eat?
Red harvester ants make up most of the diet of a horned lizard. However, they will consume other types of ants if it is necessary.
They have been known to consume ants on fire, harvesters, and the bullet ant.
Diet Of A Horned Lizard
Horned lizards are known for their interesting diet. In one day, these lizards will consume up to 80% of their body weight in ants.
These lizards will consume other insects, but they prefer ants due to the protein that they contain.
These animals can grow and reproduce quickly because of their large diet. However, it does put them at risk of being eaten by predators because they are constantly out finding food.
These animals have a large number of adaptations that help them to avoid being eaten. They can camouflage themselves and squirt blood from their eyes.
However, despite this, lots of horned lizards are eaten by predators each year.
What Do Baby Horned Toad Lizards Consume?
When a horned toad lizard is born, they are born with a yolk sac. This provides them with enough nourishment to get them through the first few weeks of life.
Once this has gone, they must start consuming ants to survive. Like adult horned lizards, baby horned lizards will mainly consume red harvester ants, alongside some other species of ant.
How Can You Support Horned Lizards?
If you live in an area where horned lizards reside, there are a few things that you can do to support their survival. It is important to avoid using pesticides as they can be very harmful to horned lizards.
Pesticides will also kill the ants that they consume.
You mustn’t drive into the desert or over dunes, as this can damage the natural habitat in which they live.
Following these two simple rules if you reside in an area with horned lizards can help to ensure that this fascinating species will remain for many years to come!
What Is The Size Of A Horned Lizard?
The horned lizard can reach up to 18 inches in length. However, there are also much smaller species that can grow to be around 4 inches in length.
Horned lizards are gray or brown, and they can blend into their surroundings due to the patterns on their skin.
Horned lizards catch their prey using their long tongues!
What Is The Lifespan Of A Horned Lizard?
Horned lizards can live for between 5 and 7 years. However, they are preyed upon by lots of different animals, meaning some of them are caught by predators before they reach this age.
Snakes, foxes, rabbits, and coyotes all hunt these lizards.
While they do have certain adaptations, including the ability to camouflage themselves, and the ability to squirt blood from their eyes, they are often caught by predators.
Hunting Horned Lizards
Horned lizards are often hunted for their meat. This meat is considered a delicacy to some people of certain cultures.
As well as this, the horns of horned lizards are often collected to be used in traditional medicine.
It is quite difficult to catch a horned lizard, as they are very fast. To catch one, you will need to set a net or a trap.
Once you have caught the lizard, you can either cook it immediately or put it into a secure location to use later.
While it is quite challenging to hunt horned lizards, it is a great chance for experienced hunters to test their abilities!
So, there you have it! After reading this article, you should have a much better understanding of the horned lizard and its common diet.
We have compiled lots of fascinating information on this creature which usually feeds on red harvester ants, as well as some other ants.
We hope you have found all the information you were looking for on the diet of the horned lizard.