How to Keep Western Fence Lizard in Your Yard: Tips and Tricks

These captivating reptiles, also known as blue bellies, are native to the western regions of the United States and have become a popular species for homeowners to invite into their outdoor spaces. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can transform your yard into an ideal habitat that won’t only entice these fascinating creatures, but also provide them with the necessary elements for survival and reproduction. So, grab your gardening gloves and get ready to embark on an exciting journey of creating a lizard-friendly oasis that will undoubtedly bring joy and wonder to your outdoor space.

How Do You Find Western Fence Lizards?

The quest to find western fence lizards is a captivating endeavor. These fascinating creatures can be spotted in a wide range of habitats, showcasing their adaptability. Whether you reside in grasslands, broken chaparral, sagebrush areas, woodlands, coniferous forests, or even farmlands, theres a chance you might encounter these lizards in your very own yard. However, it’s important to note that they tend to avoid the harsh desert conditions.

Sagebrush areas offer a unique landscape for western fence lizards, allowing them to blend seamlessly with their surroundings. Woodlands provide them with ample hiding spots, while coniferous forests offer a cool environment with dense vegetation. Even farmlands can become home to western fence lizards, as they often thrive amidst human-altered landscapes.

By creating a favorable environment that mimics their natural settings, such as providing ample vegetation and proper hiding spots, you can attract these magnificent creatures to your very own backyard. So, embrace the diversity of habitats they occupy and embark on the journey of welcoming these enchanting lizards in your yard.

Western fence lizards are a popular choice for pet reptile enthusiasts. These lizards, also known as blue bellies, make engaging and low-maintenance pets. While their diet primarily consists of insects found in their natural habitat, they can adapt well to consuming store-bought insects. Feeding them a variety of options, such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms, can ensure their nutritional needs are met.

Can Western Fence Lizards Be Kept as Pets?

Keeping Western fence lizards as pets can be a delightful and rewarding experience. These lizards are known for their vibrant colors, fascinating behaviors, and relatively easy care requirements.

Firstly, it’s important to ensure that keeping this species as a pet is legal in your area. Some states or countries have regulations regarding owning native wildlife as pets, and it’s crucial to abide by these laws for the welfare of the lizard and the preservation of their natural habitats.

Once you’ve confirmed the legalities, it’s essential to provide a suitable environment for your pet lizard. A properly sized enclosure with plenty of climbing surfaces, hiding spots, and a temperature gradient is necessary to mimic their natural habitat. Western fence lizards require UVB lighting to meet their vitamin D needs, which is crucial for their overall health.

They’re insectivores and have a varied diet. In captivity, they can be fed a diet of store-bought insects such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms, in addition to the insects they catch themselves, like flies, beetles, and ants.

Regular handling and socialization are essential for maintaining the well-being of your pet lizard.

Finding a reptile-savvy vet who can provide proper care and advice is crucial for preventing and addressing any potential health issues.

Proper Handling Techniques for Western Fence Lizards

The Western fence lizard is a common reptile found in the western part of the United States. If you’re interested in keeping these lizards in your yard, it’s important to learn proper handling techniques to ensure their safety and wellbeing. When handling a Western fence lizard, it’s essential to approach them slowly and calmly to avoid startling them. Gently scoop them up with your hand, supporting their body and limbs. Remember to always wash your hands before and after handling any reptile to prevent the spread of bacteria. Lastly, it’s crucial to provide a suitable habitat with ample hiding spots, sunning areas, and a varied diet to meet their needs. By employing these proper handling techniques and providing a suitable environment, you can successfully keep Western fence lizards in your yard.

Fence lizards, also known as eastern fence lizards, are primarily found in dry, open woodlands and tend to avoid wet or heavily shaded areas. They’ve a preference for arboreal habitats and can often be spotted on or near structures like trees, logs, rock outcrops, and buildings.

Do Eastern Fence Lizards Like Water?

Eastern fence lizards, also known as scaly lizards, prefer relatively dry environments and are less likely to be found in heavily shaded or wet areas. Their habitat of choice is open woodlands, where pine and hardwood trees dominate the landscape. These lizards have a strong affinity for arboreal settings and can often be seen perched on trees, logs, stumps, or rock outcrops.

In addition to natural structures, eastern fence lizards are known to utilize man-made structures as well. They may be found near buildings, rock piles, or brush piles, which offer them shelter and potential basking spots. As sun-loving reptiles, fence lizards require ample sunlight to regulate their body temperature and maintain optimal health.

When it comes to water, eastern fence lizards do need access to it for drinking purposes but aren’t particularly fond of swimming or spending extended periods in water. They derive most of their hydration from rain, dew, and the moisture present in their diet. These lizards have specialized skin that isn’t well-suited for swimming and are more inclined to stay on dry land.

Source: Eastern Fence Lizard – NC Wildlife

Eastern Fence Lizards, commonly known for their skittish nature, can indeed be held. However, it’s advised to allow them a 2-week settling period without any handling. When you do handle them, it’s important to keep it limited to 20-30 minutes to prevent them from getting too cold.

Can You Hold an Eastern Fence Lizard?

During this initial period, it’s important to establish a sense of trust with your Eastern Fence Lizard. Spend time near it’s habitat, observing and interacting without actually handling the lizard. This will help it become accustomed to your presence and minimize stress.

Approach them slowly and gently, allowing them to see your hand before attempting to pick them up. It’s best to avoid sudden movements or loud noises that might startle them.

In terms of duration, it’s recommended to limit handling sessions to 20-30 minutes at a time. This is to prevent your lizard from getting too cold, as excessive handling can lower their body temperature and lead to health issues.

Ensure their enclosure is escape-proof and free from any potential hazards. Additionally, maintain a suitable temperature gradient, UVB lighting, and a varied diet consisting of live insects and greens to support their health and well-being.

Breeding and Reproductive Behavior of Eastern Fence Lizards.

  • The Eastern Fence Lizard, also known as the Blue Fence Lizard, is a species of lizard native to the eastern United States.
  • They’re typically found in wooded areas, rocky hillsides, and open fields with plenty of vegetation.
  • Eastern Fence Lizards have distinct spiky scales on their backs and a long, slender body.
  • Males can be identified by their blue coloration on the throat and belly during the breeding season.
  • During courtship, male Eastern Fence Lizards perform a series of push-ups to attract the attention of females.
  • Females lay their eggs in soil or leaf litter, and the eggs take approximately 8-10 weeks to hatch.
  • Hatchlings are independent from birth and are able to fend for themselves immediately.
  • Eastern Fence Lizards are insectivorous, feeding primarily on ants, beetles, spiders, and other small invertebrates.
  • They’re known for their ability to run swiftly and climb trees and fences with ease.
  • Despite their name, Eastern Fence Lizards aren’t strong swimmers and are rarely found near water bodies.


In conclusion, creating a welcoming environment for Western Fence Lizards in your yard is both rewarding and beneficial. By implementing a few simple strategies such as providing ample food sources, creating sheltered areas, and incorporating suitable landscaping elements, you can attract and maintain a thriving population of these fascinating creatures. Not only does this contribute to the ecological balance of your yard, but it also allows you to witness the beauty and wonder of these unique reptiles up close.

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