Plants for Lizards

Discussion in 'Celebrate Biodiversity' started by marie dudin, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. marie dudin

    marie dudin Member

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    I found a black ~15" lizard in my garden (last summer) while weeding out some buttercup & tall lawn grass. It is a wet, shady area. I would like to encourage the lizard but would like to get rid of the buttercups & grass. Would anyone have suggestions for plants a lizard might like?
     
  2. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    I have a few Blue tongue lizards and skinks in my yard. They like to hide from predators, mainly birds. They love rocks and logs, but any plant that will provide them some cover, so bushy type plants would work.

    Ed
     
  3. marie dudin

    marie dudin Member

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    Thanks Ed. Makes sense. This is the first one I've seen around Vancouver - in the "wild" so feeling pretty lucky to have it in my yard. Marie
     
  4. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    Knowing what species your lizard is will help define an ideal habitat. There are only two native lizards to southwestern BC, the Western Skink which is tiny & the Alligator lizard which grows to 10" (including tail) and generally not black. There is also the Common Wall Lizard on Vancouver Island, but it's not black or big enough either.

    Generally though, lizards like sunny grasslands and open woods with lots of tall grasses and perennials to hide in and lots of potential basking sites in the sun. The ones in Canada are bug, grub, and worm eaters.
     
  5. marie dudin

    marie dudin Member

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    I didn't get a good look at it although I nearly grabbed it while pulling grass. Kind of startled me. It then retreated a foot or two into the grass thinking I couldn't see it, it seemed. Unfortunately only its tail was showing then. The tail alone appeared to be about 8 ". It looked black or at least very dark brown. Huge teeth too (just kidding). There are plenty of ditches,at least one muskrat; peat bog too across the back lane with ponds & lots of frogs. That type of habitat. Maybe an escapee from someones house? Marie
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Wouldn't it more likely be a salamander with that sort of habitat?
     
  7. marie dudin

    marie dudin Member

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    I suppose it could have been - I never thought of that. It looked scaly so I assumed lizard, but it was wet & shiny too. This spot is very cool & moist even in the summer, and that is probably not what lizards like? I hope it comes back; then I will photograph it.
     
  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  9. marie dudin

    marie dudin Member

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    I thought this was the most likely candidate based on my memory of its size & appearance but I don't think the habitat fits. Sounds like they are endangered, rarely seen in this region & only near mountain creeks & only near Cultus Lake in Chilliwack. Does anyone know otherwise? There is a creek not far away but far from a pristine mountain creek unfortunately. I wonder if it is still too cold for it to be around if it is a salamander? I will be looking out for it. There are lots of worms & grubs in the lawn for it...maybe that is the upside of the local grub infestations.
     
  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Well, if it's a lizard, it is this one: Elgaria coerulea - I think that's the only one that occurs in the Lower Mainland.

    Other than that, there are a couple salamanders that can be found locally: Amphibians of British Columbia
     
  11. Anthurium lover

    Anthurium lover Active Member

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    So lucky! I love Blue tongue lizards, but living in the 'Burbs of Sydney isn't their style :(
     
  12. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    You should have a few down that way if the habitat is right...

    Ed
     

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