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Home » Santa Clarita News » Western Fence Lizards Cop An Attitude

Western Fence Lizards Cop An Attitude

Nature in Santa Clarita, it’s not what you look at but what you see.

-Wendy Langhans

Western fence lizards bask in the sun while hunting for insects.

Have you ever gone to a skateboard park and watched the skateboarders practicing their tricks?  Aerials, flips, slides and grinds – each skater trying to accomplish their trick while looking cool at the same time.   It’s a combination of quick reflexes, precisely timed moves and a certain “attitude”.


I smile to myself and think of how they resemble the western fence lizards I see along the trail.  These lizards can often be found perched in the sunshine on highly visible places.  Because they are cold-blooded, they need the warmth from the sun to regulate their body temperature.  A high perch also allows them to spot insects and spiders, their primary source of food.  But this visibility makes them vulnerable to predators such as king snakes and hawks, so western fence lizards survive through a combination of quick reflexes and precisely timed moves.


This time of year they also cop an “attitude”.  May and June are the mating season and males actively protect their territory.  When another male gets too close, the lizard engages in a series of “push ups”, flashing its blue belly to demonstrate its virility.  This display is also used to attract females.


Sort of like the flash of brightly colored boxer shorts under low slung pants, isn’t it?



I hope you will join us for a wildflower hike at Towsley Canyon on Saturday, May 12, from 8-10 AM.  TowsleyCanyon is located on the Old Road, west of I-5 and about 1/4 mile south of the Calgrove exit.


If you are planning on heading to the beach this Saturday, we will also be offering a Fire Ecology hike at MalibuBluffs Park from 4:00-5:30 PM.  Malibu Bluffs Park is located at 24250 Pacific Coast Highway, at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Canyon Road.


You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on "The Hike Report", brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

For our complete hike and activity schedule and for trail maps, go to

To see what's playing on radio station KHTS, go to tune in to AM 1220.

Western Fence Lizards Cop An Attitude

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