Lizard (Mexican Beaded)

Heloderma horridum

IUCN Red List status: Least Concern

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Least Concern


Where they live

Mexico and Guatemala


Forests, scrub and woodland


Females are up to 76 cm; males up to 90 cm


Females are 1.4-2 kg; males up to 4 kg


20-30 years


Habitat loss, hunted by humans

Did you know...

  • Are one on only two species of venomous lizard, the other is the Gila monster They have special grooved teeth to release venom when they bite They store fat in their tail for when food is in short supply

More about beaded lizards...

The beaded lizard is so called because of the bead-like scales on its head and dorsal surface. They are nocturnal so will hide in burrows during the day and are active at night. They are carnivores. Their diet includes mammals, birds, lizards, frogs, insects and the eggs of birds and reptiles. They swallow their prey whole, except for eggs which they break first.

Beaded lizards breed in February and March. Two months after mating females lay between 3 and 13 eggs. Which they bury and then abandon. After 6 months of incubation the young will then emerge.

The number or beaded lizards in the wild is currently decreasing. They are threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation for agriculture and human settlements. Also they are sometimes killed by people who are scared of their venom. The species is now protected by law and trading these animals is restricted.

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