What Do Lizards Eat? Over 6,000 species of lizards exist in the world today. All lizards belong to the Reptiles family in the animal kingdom. Lizards feed on different kinds of food sources from fruits, small insects, worms, frogs, and even small birds.
Some lizard types are considered to be menacing predators. Aside from feasting on a carnivorous meal (birds, mammals, members of the reptile family, and snails), the diet consumed by the different types of lizards may also include fruits, algae and a wide array of plant material.
Table of Contents
- What Do Lizards Eat?
- Lizard Diet by Types
- How Do Lizards Hunt?
- When Do Lizards Eat?
- How Often Do Lizards Eat?
- What Eats Lizards?
- Where Do Lizards Fit in the Animal Food Chain?
- Key References
What Do Lizards Eat?
|Type of Lizard||Diet|
|Iguania Lizard||Baby mice, crickets, and worms.|
|Gekkota Lizard||Small reptiles, small rodents, Insects, and small lizards|
|Scincomorpha Lizard||Caterpillars, crickets, beetles, and flies|
|Anguimorpha Lizard||Worms, tadpoles, snails, small birds, eggs, frogs, and lizards.|
|Amphisbaenia Lizard||Arthropods, small vertebrates, insects, and worms|
Lizard Diet by Types
A plethora of lizard species exist in the world today. This section will, however, tackle 5 broad types or infraordersWhat is an infraorder?In the biological classification of organisms, infraorder taxonomic category ranks under a suborder. of lizards.
What Do Iguania Lizards Eat?
Most are herbivores, however, others enjoy a diet of baby mice, crickets, and worms.
- This group of lizards includes famed examples like the chameleons, anoles, and iguana.
- This suborder is considered to be the largest group of lizards, constituting of about 1,000 species.
- Members of this infraorder, with the example of family Chamaeleonidae, inhabit warm habitats from deserts to rainforests.
What Do Gekkota Lizards Eat?
Some eat small reptiles, while large species eat small rodents. Others eat insects and small lizards.
- This category of lizards includes famous examples like the geckos, and legless, and the blind lizards.
- Seven families are recognized in this type of lizards.
- Members of this group of lizards, with the example of geckos, live in warm climate habitats.
What Do Scincomorpha Lizards Eat?
- Examples of members categorized in this infraorder include wall lizards and skinks.
- Members of this infraorder reside in a myriad of habitats including dunes and rocky crevices.
What Do Anguimorpha Lizards Eat?
Members of these order eat worms, tadpoles, snails, small birds, eggs, frogs, and lizards.
- There are 5 families make up this infraorder.
- Famed examples of this type of lizards include slow worms, monitor lizards, and Gila monsters.
- Members of this infraorder, with the example of the Chinese crocodile lizards, inhabit cool forests.
What Do Amphisbaenia Lizards Eat?
Members are carnivores eating a diet consisting of arthropods, small vertebrates, insects, and worms.
- An excellent example of this lizard type includes the legless burrowing worm lizards.
- The members of this type of lizards are diverse in their habitats.
- They are present in Africa, the Caribbean, South America, North America, and Europe.
How Do Lizards Hunt?
Carnivorous lizards use an interesting hunting technique. Two approaches were described by scientists in a study intended to understand their biomechanics. The hunting approaches are also considered foraging mechanisms/styles.
- The Sit and Wait Approach: In this approach, the lizards sit and wait in a particular location waiting for their prey. Lizards can spend a significant amount in this one location. When their prey passes in front of them, they then move quickly and with speed to snatch it using their specialized tongues.
- Active Foraging Approach: This hunting approach is different from the first approach because unlike the earlier strategy of sitting and waiting, the lizard actively but slowly moves in its environments searching for prey. The lizard’s chemosensory abilities facilitate this approach for stalking prey.
Though the above hunting approaches are complete opposites, active foraging is believed to have evolved from the sit-and-wait technique.
When Do Lizards Eat?
Most lizards are diurnal meaning they are active during the day. As such, most of these lizards will tend to feed during the day. Other kinds of lizards, on the other hand, have a different lifestyle in the sense that they have evolved to being nocturnal as they are active at night, and their feeding habits are influenced as a result. These lizards will tend to eat at night.
How Often Do Lizards Eat?
How often lizards eat depends on their activity, age, and diet type.
What Eats Lizards?
Lizards have numerous predators, which include gorillas, sloths, birds like hawks and eagles, monkeys, snakes and other mammal species feed on lizards. Some Lizard species consume fellow lizards too! (Example: Komodo dragon could eat its own babies)
Where Do Lizards Fit in the Animal Food Chain?
Being classified as reptiles, the different kinds of lizards that exist are imperative to the food chain. They play the roles of prey and predator. One crucial role they play is that they provide food to the food chain. Lizards also feed on different kinds of animals, thus keeping their population under check. The implication of this is that they prevent overpopulation in the ecosystem.
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- “Green Iguana | National Geographic”. Accessed June 15, 2019. Link.
- “Gekkota”. Accessed June 15, 2019. Link.
- “Skink Facts: What You Need to Know About This Cool Reptiles”. Accessed June 15, 2019. Link.
- “Gila Monster Habitat, Diet & Reproduction – Reptile Park”. Accessed June 15, 2019. Link.
- “Amphisbaenia – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics”. Accessed June 15, 2019. Link.
- “Lizard Hunting Styles Impact Ability To Walk, Run — ScienceDaily”. Accessed June 15, 2019. Link.
- “Do Lizards Come Out at Night? | Animals – mom.me”. Accessed June 15, 2019. Link.
- “Endangered Species International”. Accessed June 15, 2019. Link.
- “Importance of Reptiles in the Ecosystem | Sciencing”. Accessed June 15, 2019. Link.