...Notes from the Field


Gravid Eastern Fence Lizard

by | Jul 19, 2010

Yesterday was our fourth wedding anniversary, and we decided to do something a little different. We drove “north of the border” up into Georgia to check out the Birdsong Nature Center. Thinking it would be a nice place to let our two little boys run themselves into exhaustion, it would be a bit of a change of scenery and a chance for all of us to visit somewhere new. It exceeded all of our expectations, and there will be more posts forthcoming from this beautiful and peaceful preserve.

Gravid Eastern Fence Lizard

As we were letting our three year-old lead the troupe, I saw a super-fat eastern fence lizard clinging to a tree, not budging. Unusual as these close relatives of iguanas have the predictable behavior of vanishing with lightning speed. It was a she, and she was full of soon-to-be-laid eggs. After a bit of checking around Facebook and Twitter with my herpetologist contacts it was confirmed. An unusual condition in which to find such a common lizard, and since it took place outside of Florida, I couldn’t include this image in our regular nature photography website –  North American Nature Photography – so I’m posting it here. Stop by and check it out if you haven’t done so already!


Rich Leighton


  1. Jenny Bacon

    That is really neat!  She looks like she’s ready to pop!! 

  2. Pbamihlebach

    my children found a lizard yesterday at soccer in the small woods next to the field.  all the children and parents were super impressed because it is very unique.  as a child, i caught tons of lizards but they were always the “normal” brown or green slender lizards.  the one mine kids found is fascinating and it seems as if it is one of the fat lizards or fence lizards.  since looking around on the internet and finding your lizard picture, we are interested in this Georgia Nature place now.  just curious if its worth driving there for the day or staying the night? we live off the 1st Florida exit.  thanks and hope to hear from you.

    • RichLeighton

      You should definitely check out Birdsong Nature Center. It’s a very quiet place that was once a cotton plantation abut now it being returned to nature. There are lots of forest trails and plenty of wildlife. Their website has a lot of information, and Thomasville, Georgia is about 15 minutes away! Let me know what you think when you go there 🙂

  3. Jessica

    I love these guys… I had three that past in April and may ( one of whom laid a 7 egg clutch) I now have a male and two females ( one laid a 7 egg clutch all ready this year and both females are gravid now)and 9 hatchlings!. They really are great lizards..


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