Creature Corner: Mexican Mole Lizard

Evan Johnson , Community, Information and Agricultural Editor

This small reptilian is found only on the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. The Mexican Mole Lizard grows barely over 8 inches but not much larger. They are often found in the Vizcaino Desert and the Magdalena Plain.These regions suit the lizard well because the soil is dry and loose, so the lizard can easily move the dirt with its short, stout limbs. The Mexican Mole Lizard is what you’d call an opportunistic carnivore.They eat ants, cockroaches, termites, beetle larvae, and other invertebrates as well as anything that gets in reach that they can swallow. After catching their prey, they crawl back underground to consume it. 

When it comes to being the prey themselves,  they aren’t really eaten that much because of their ectotherm lifestyle (that means that they get their heat from the soil around them). At night,  they burrow even deeper into the soil. This is so predators such as badgers or skunks can’t dig them up. Snakes also pose a threat because they are just the right size to fit in the burrows.The only defense they have against snakes is to drop their tail.The tail blocks the hole, so the snake can’t pass through. The bad thing is they can’t regenerate their tails like an anole. Also, with so many physical similarities to snakes they are often killed by humans. Even though they are sometimes killed, Mexican Mole Lizards are thought to be a stable species with no eminent threats or extinction present.