May I Introduce … the Western Fence Lizard?
Though a rather common lizard of the western United States, this beautiful medium sized lizard has some superhero powers. A member of the spiny lizard family, fence lizards have spiny grey, tan or brown scales with a white or yellow underside. Males often boast a beautiful blue belly or throat.
These are lizards who prefer grasslands, sagebrush, or coniferous forests, avoiding dense, moist forests and harsh deserts. They are a great predator of common insect and spider pests.
But here’s where it gets good…. a protein in the eastern fence lizard’s blood kills the bacterium that causes Lyme’s disease, the most common tick-borne disease in the northern hemisphere. When disease carrying ticks feed on the blood of the lizard, the disease carrying bacterium are killed and the tick no longer carries the disease!
Nature’s chemistry at its best!