Mexican Beaded Lizard - Heloderma horridum horridum
Tropical, dry forests. Found in dry, open forest areas with abundant rocks and sparse vegetation. Burrows to avoid the mid-day heat. They are frequently found in abandoned mammal burrows and near sources of permanent water.
Mexico and Guatemala
The head is broad and slightly flattened, and is joined with a short neck and an elongated, cylindrical body, ending with a thick, rounded tail. The legs are short but powerful; each foot has five clawed toes. The back is covered with large, bony scales. The belly is in contrast, bears flat, regularly arranged scales that are hardly ossified. The teeth curve slightly backward and are set somewhat inward from the edge of the jaws. The lower jaw teeth have single grooves on the front and back that permit the venom to flow into the wound. Primarily terrestrial.
Up to 13-18 inches in length and 5 to 6 lbs in weight
Carnivorous. Eats insects, spiders, other small invertebrates, lizards, snakes, rodents, birds and eggs. Preyed upon by large mammals and birds of prey.
Mating occurs mostly in the spring. 3-13 long eggs laid in mid-late summer buried in sand at a depth of about 5 in. Incubation 117-130 days. 2-3 years before they sexually mature.
Least concern according to the IUCN Red List and is listed on "Appendix II" of CITES. They are also part of an AZA Species Survival Plan.
- Paired salivary glands produce venom injected through a groove in the teeth that paralyzes prey.
- Must chew their victim in order to inject poison.
- The tail is used to store energy for times when food is scarce.
- Long claws for digging.
- One of only 2 venomous lizards in the world.
AZA cooperatively manages this species as a Species Survival Plan® Program.
- Adult (13 and over)$9.00
- Children (3 - 12)$5.25
- Children (2 and under)Free
- Seniors (65+)$8.00
We begin transferring animals to evening (off exhibit) holding at 4:30 each night.
Open Daily 10:00-5:00
Last admission at 4:30