Phrynosoma cornutum Photo Audrey Owens ©
The Texas Horned Lizard, or “horny toad” as it is called in Texas, is named for its flattened toad-like appearance, and spines or horns around the head and body.
In Florida, horned lizards are found in hot, sandy, habitats such as beaches, sandhills, and scrub, where their brownish, sandy-colored body makes them almost invisible. They also bury themselves in the sand. Horned lizards feed almost exclusively on ants and if discovered by a predator, they will squirt droplets of blood from their eyes.
At one time Texas Horned Lizards were commonly sold in pet stores, but more recently they have become much less popular in trade.
They are difficult to keep in captivity because they require a constant supply of ants. Historically, horned lizards were frequently released into the wild by dealers and disenchanted pet owners and there are currently breeding populations in several Florida counties, including Duval and Dade.
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