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Posted by Lester G. Milroy III on June 04, 2002 at 09:34:50:
In Reply to: What dangers do Desert Horned Lizards face in the Wild? posted by Lyn on June 04, 2002 at 07:54:00:
: Besides people catching them to sell to the pet trade, I wondered what other creatures might go after a Desert Horned.
: They seem to have such good defenses, with the horns, being prickly in general, being able to turn into a HL pancake, and the ability to disapear from sight under the sand. Do they have any predators that have adapted to these defenses? I hear about the blood squirting, and have seen it on TV, but don't believe the Desert Horns do it (correct me if I'm wrong). I took my Horned Lizards outside this weekend so they could get some sunshine. They have a full spectrum flourescent reptile light, but I wanted them to have some fresh air and sunshine just the same. I put together a temporary enclosure till I can buy/build something better. They really seemed to enjoy the sun, but a neighbor's dog was barking and crows were making a racket in another yard. I was concerned that if dogs/birds were predators to them that this might stress them out. It seemed to affect my Beardies more than the HLs. I was also wondering about snakes. I rearranged my rep room to accomadate a larger cage for the HLs, and the next morning I went down to find my young male Beardie in a full beard display. Took me a minute to figure it out. He could see the Cali King with the new room arrangement. I got down next to the HL cage and looked up from their view, and they could see her too. I covered up the Cali's cage until I could do more rearranging. These are just the things that got me wondering what my boys would be afraid of that I might not even think of. Any insight welcome, I want to keep them as stress free and happy as possible. Thanks!
:Desert HLs, as well as all HL species, are prey to numerous preditors in the wild. Ravens and crows, Roadrunners, feral cats and dogs, coyotes, foxes, snakes, and others are just a few. Tarantulas will also eat hatchling HLs in the wild. The Desert HLs do squirt blood from their eyes. Most of the HL species have this ability and the behavior seems to be mainly focused at canines. And as you have identified, humans are also a threat to HLs in numerous ways: commercial and private collection, habitat destruction and loss, off-road vehicles, use of pesticides and herbicides, illegal dumping in habitat areas, etc. Lester G. Milroy III