Photo courtesy of TPWD
Texas Horned Lizard
Description: The Texas horned lizard or "horny toad" is a flat-bodied, spiny, ant-eating lizard. This lizard is brownish with two rows of fringed scales along each side of its body. This species is distinguished from other horned lizards by dark brown stripes that radiate downward from the eyes and across the top of the head.
Life History: They are most active during the warm days of summer and early fall, then hibernate through winter. They spend most of their time either basking in the sun or burrowing. One unique characteristic of the Texas horned lizard is its ability to squirt blood through the eye when threatened.
Habitat: They can be found in arid and semiarid habitats in open areas with sparse plant cover. Because horned lizards dig for hibernation, nesting and insulation purposes, they commonly are found in loose sand or loamy soils.
Distribution: Texas horned lizards range throughout much of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, and into northern Mexico.
Status: Threatened, chiefly due to human factors including habitat loss, collection for the pet trade, and the introduction of fire ants.
The Center for Reptile and Amphibian Conservation Mgmt.
Fort Worth Zoo
Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.