Texas Horned Lizard
Phrynosoma cornutum

Size:  2 1/4 - 4 in

Western 3/4 of state. The Texas horned lizard is a very distiguishable species in that it is the only species of lizard in Oklahoma with horn-like scales covering most of its body, making it appear formidable to potential predators. With its round, flattened body and short tail, it looks more like a toad, earning it the nick-name "horny toad". The Texas horned lizard is an ant specialist, feeding only on the red harvester ants. When threatened, it will squirt blood from its eyes to deter potential predators.

Once extremely common throughout most of its range, the Texas horned lizard is now a protected species in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is monitoring its progress. It isn't certain as to why they are disappearing, but one widely accepted idea is the use of pesticides on the red harvester ant mounds.

Pictured above is an adult (left) and a juvenile (right).