The Northwestern Alligator Lizard is common along the west coast from British Columbia through northern California. 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.
Photo 4 shows a mating pair.
Like many lizards, Alligator Lizards can autotomize their tails if a predator grabs it. The tail regenerates, but with obvious differences from the original. Photo 5 shows an individual with a regenerated tail. zoom on the regenerated tail