A Beaded Lizard hatched on January 17, at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and more emerged on January 21 and 22!
This is the first successful Beaded Lizard hatching at the Zoo since 2000! The recommendation to breed this vulnerable lizard, which is protected under CITES II, comes from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.
The Beaded Lizard (Heloderma horridum) is found in rocky regions of Central and western Mexico, as well as down to northern Central America, but due to habitat loss and poaching their numbers are diminishing.
The Beaded Lizard (also known as the Mexican Beaded Lizard) is the most known of the four species of venomous lizards found in Mexico and Guatemala. The species is larger than the Gila Monster, but it has a more dull coloration-- black with yellow bands.
The lizard becomes sexually mature at six to eight years. The female lays a clutch of two to 30 eggs. In the wild, mating typically occurs between September and October. The eggs are usually laid between October and December, and they hatch the following June or July.
The Beaded Lizard is currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Guests to the Columbus Zoo cannot see the little lizards until spring, but the adult Beaded Lizards can be seen at the Zoo’s Reptile Building.