While preparing a garden bed in Sebastopol this past weekend, Eric happened upon an interesting resident.
Northern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria coerulea)
This is one of two species of lizards that have been documented on Bodega Head.
Note the olive, brown, and black coloration and the triangular-shaped head.
The eyes are brown (rather than yellow as in the Southern Alligator Lizard).
Northern Alligator Lizards occur as far north as British Columbia, farther north than any other species of lizard on the West Coast.
They live in forested habitats, but on Bodega Head I probably see them most often around shrubs in the dunes, and sometimes in the grassland...especially in nice sunny spots.
The prey of Northern Alligator Lizards includes insects, spiders, ticks, centipedes, millipedes, slugs, snails, and worms. They give birth to live young (between 2-15, often 6-7) in the summer and fall.