Neotropical: Endemic to Mexico and Guatemala. Found in southern Mexico
from Jalisco, Colima through coastal Michoacan, Guerrero, Oaxaca,
to Chiapas, and in the Balsas Basin, south to Guatemala.
Physical characteristics: The largest
species of horned lizards, reaching a snout-vent-length of up to 115
mm and total length of op to 200 mm. The distinguishing features are:
two rows of abdominal fringe scales; three rows of large conical scales
widely separated on the dorsum; gular scales arranged in serrated
longitudinal series; and large keeled ventral scales numbering 30-35
across the widest point constituting a formidable armor.
Food habits: Feeds almost exclusively
Reproduction: Oviparous. Eggs are
laid approximately 7 weeks after fertilization. Incubation (captivity)
lasts 90 - 100 days under 25 C temperature. Typical clutch has around
Behavior: Horned lizards are solitary,
diurnal animals. Various antipredetor mechanisms have evolved: cryptic
behavior is enhanced by body color matching the substrate, breaking
the shadow silhouette due to spines and fringes of scales. When approached,
remains motionless. Body armor also poses a serious risk if animal
should be eaten by a predator.
At least four species of horned lizards (but not all species), coronatum,
cornutum, orbiculare and solare, squirt blood from their eyes when
attacked, especially by canine predators such as foxes and coyotes.
The canine will drop a horned lizard after being squirted and attempt
to wipe or shake the blood out of its mouth, clearly suggesting the
fluid has a foul taste.
Habitat: Tropical deciduous forest, thornscrub
Biomes: tropical forest
Conservation: Horned lizards are
decimated by, habitat loss, and introduced ants and grasses (in the