Reptile Camouflage

Reptiles camouflage themselves in the wild by mimicking their surroundings. These reptiles are masters of disguise and even make amazing pets! 파충류샵


Resting out in the open can be a dangerous affair for Aegean wall lizards who are exposed to predatory birds hunting in the skies above. This lizard uses its remarkable camouflage to blend into its rock background.

Western Diamond Back Rattlesnake

The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake is a large, carnivorous snake that feeds on rodents and birds. It reaches up to 6 feet long and can weigh 10 pounds. It is one of the most poisonous snakes in North America and can deliver a lethal bite in a matter of seconds. Its fangs are replaced 2 to 4 times a year.

It is found in a wide variety of arid habitats in the western US and northern Mexico; they prefer rocky desert hillsides, grassy plains, forested areas, river bottoms and coastal prairies. This snake is named for the dia 파충류샵 mond-shaped markings along its back and its rattle. The rattle is a series of interlocking segments that are made from the same material as human fingernails and vibrate when the snake moves or shakes its head. It serves as a warning to potential predators that it is angry and willing to fight back if attacked.

When these snakes sense danger, they often remain silent and rely on their cryptic coloration to hide, but if this doesn’t work, they will hiss and rattle their tail to warn enemies away. They are a bit feistier than other snakes and more willing to bite in defense. In the wild, males grow much larger than females and fight for receptive females during the spring. The snakes then retreat to a communal den (hibernacula) in a cave or rocky recess to spend the winter.

Desert Horned Lizard

Desert Horned Lizards (Phrynosoma solare) are able to blend into the sandy soil of their native habitat with varying skin colors and patterns. Their body shape and coloration help to conceal their outline and the two dark blotches on their necks break up their silhouette. These lizards can also flatten their bodies to eliminate shadows, which further enhances their ability to hide. When threatened by predators, horned lizards will often remain completely still until the threat is gone.

Like many other horned lizards, these animals use their thick scales to prevent predators’ teeth from penetrating their skin. They also possess sharp horns and spikes that deter attackers. Their tails can be curled or held between their legs and they can even scratch themselves to display a defensive posture.

If all else fails, horned lizards are able to squirt blood from ducts located in the corners of their eyes. This ominous-looking spray is meant to confuse predators and it can travel up to 3 feet away!

These lizards also rely on camouflage to protect them from ground temperature extremes. When it gets too hot during the day, horned lizards seek shade or dig themselves into the ground to enter a period of torpor called brumatation. This enables them to preserve their energy and moisture without having to expend it by moving around in the heat of the day.

Coral Snake

Coral Snakes are relatives of cobra, mamba and sea snakes and live in wooded and sandy areas across the southeastern United States. They eat frogs, lizards and smaller snakes and can be found burrowed underground or hiding in leaf piles. They are a highly reclusive species and bite humans only when handled or stepped on. Though bites are painful, they are not usually fatal because the snake has to chew on its victim for a full injection of venom. They are also very quick biters that often defend themselves against ill-meaning people by flipping their heads from side to side and snapping sharply.

The bright colors and contrasting markings on the coral snake help it camouflage itself in its native habitat. The red, yellow and black colors are especially effective against its main predator, the raccoon. The snake uses its colors to both warn and confuse predators, as well as blend in with the dappled forest floor.

There’s an added complication with this species’s mimicry system, however: because the raccoon is such a reliable predator, its behavior has effectively “spoiled” the Coral Snake’s aposematic signals. This has thrown a wrench into the traditional idea of predator learning in relation to reptile mimicry. In this case, because the raccoon will always be around and willing to eat the Coral Snake, it doesn’t have any incentive to learn its lookalike’s warning signals and avoid the snake.

Scarlet King Snake

One of the most spectacular examples of reptile camouflage is that of the scarlet king snake. These harmless snakes are able to escape predators by appearing as deadly coral snakes. The alternating bands of red, yellow and black resemble the warning colors of a venomous coral snake. This patterning is a form of mimicry called Batesian.

These snakes are also able to blend in by having a patterned belly that echoes the rock wall they slither on. They are often spotted only when they spout their venom at predators. This defense mechanism has helped them slither undetected throughout their habitat in the southeastern United States.

Although these snakes have proven their ability to hide, they are still hunted and killed for the pet trade. Over-collecting can deplete wild populations of these snakes.

The blue-lipped forest anole has the amazing ability to blend in with the dried leaves on the forest floor, making it hard for predators to see them. They only reveal their bright blue throat fan to a potential mate when they are in courtship.

Another type of color changing reptile is the chameleon. These snakes display brilliant shades in response to social cues, such as mating or communication, and they can even change the color of their shells. These brilliant displays of color are not related to camouflage but to aposematic and behavioral signals that warn predators to stay away.