(Phrynosoma asio)
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Geographic range: 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 on ants.

Reproduction: Oviparous. Eggs are laid approximately 7 weeks after fertilization. Incubation (captivity) lasts 90 - 100 days under 25 C temperature. Typical clutch has around 15 eggs.

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.

Tropical deciduous forest, thornscrub

Biomes: tropical forest

Conservation: Horned lizards are decimated by, habitat loss, and introduced ants and grasses (in the U.S.A.)

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