Western Fence Lizard

Sceloporus occidentalis

California, USA - May 2006

One of the commonest lizards in California, the Western Fence Lizard is a beneficial animal to have around. Recent studies have shown that in areas where Fence Lizards occur, there is a correspondingly low incidence of Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a debilitating illness caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi which is passed to humans through the saliva of ticks. However, when ticks carrying the bacteria feed on a Western Fence Lizard, the bacteria are killed thus breaking the cycle of transmission.