ONH

  • 1635
  • 1865
  • 1871
  • 1873
  • 1877
  • 5321
  • 5325
  • 5325z
  • 1635
    1 - Northwestern Alligator Lizard, Elgaria coerulea principi.

    04/09/2009 Mouth of the Elwha River, Port Angeles, Washington

  • 1865
    2 - Northwestern Alligator Lizard.

    04/20/2008 Mouth of the Elwha River, Port Angeles, Washington

  • 1871
    3 - Northwestern Alligator Lizard.

    04/20/2008 Mouth of the Elwha River, Port Angeles, Washington

  • 1873
    4 - Northwestern Alligator Lizard.

    04/20/2008 Mouth of the Elwha River, Port Angeles, Washington

  • 1877
    5 - Northwestern Alligator Lizard.

    04/20/2008 Mouth of the Elwha River, Port Angeles, Washington

  • 5321
    6 - A mating pair of Northwestern Alligator Lizards.

    05/05/2010 Mouth of the Elwha River, Port Angeles, Washington

  • 5325
    7 - A Northwestern Alligator Lizard with a regenerated tail.

    05/05/2010 Mouth of the Elwha River, Port Angeles, Washington

  • 5325z
    8 - Closeup of the regenerated tail.

    05/05/2010 Mouth of the Elwha River, Port Angeles, Washington

The Northwestern Alligator Lizard is common along the west coast from northern California north through British Columbia. Three other subspecies occur in California.

I photographed all of these specimens in a sandy area strewn with beach logs and vegetation at the mouth of the Elwha River, near Port Angeles, WA. In my experience, Alligator Lizards are much shyer than Garter Snakes, and rarely allow any approach.

Like many lizards, Alligator Lizards can autotomize their tails if a predator grabs it. The tail regenerates, but with obvious differences from the original (slides 7 and 8).