The California Alligator Lizard was named after its large head and big jaws. The alligator lizard really looks like a mix up between a lizard and a snake. It is a yellowish-tan color with black stripes and a gray belly. Its body is 12 inches long or more, with most of its size made up of its tail.
Alligator lizards prefer ground that is covered with lots of thick grasses and plants. Most California lizards live in the open spaces, but, like snakes, they hide to protect themselves.
When the weather gets hot, alligator lizards look for shade and water. In the summer, they turn up in swimming pools, houses and bathtubs where it is cool.
When this lizard opens its mouth, it looks quite ferocious and may try to bite if it thinks someone is going to hurt it. However, if left alone they are completely harmless.
Alligator lizards eat the slugs, snails and bugs in your backyard. For this reason many gardeners consider themselves lucky to have one living in their yard.