Many lizards are insectivorous, relatively long tail, four legs, and live a fairly short life. A very limited number of lizards are herbivorous and non-insect eating carnivores; they are readily found outside South Central Texas. Humans have also realized the importance of lizards as they eat almost every insect from gardens or other human habitations.
What Do Lizards Eat in the Wild
Geckos (Family Gekkonidae)
Texas Banded Gecko
These lizards primarily eat soft-bodied insects (termites in particular) such as beetles, small terrestrial arachnids, and some other arthropods that are almost entirely nocturnal. Geckos typically prey these victims in the dark and they also eat their skin which they shed.
These geckos are known to consume cockroaches (especially American baby cockroaches), caterpillars, beetles, moths, ants, homopterans, earwigs, and even mosquitoes. In fact, Mediterranean geckos capture almost every insect that is observed flying in the night.
Iguanids (Family Iguanidae)
Green Anoles usually rely on moths, lacewings, cockroaches, mayflies, caterpillars, flies, beetles, crickets, mealworms, and damselflies, insect larvae, soft-bodied insects, and many kinds of spiders. Though they are arboreal creatures, anoles often come down on ground to feed between shrubbery and vegetated areas.
Texas Earless Lizard
It has a diet of crickets, small beetles, winged termites, grasshoppers, spiders, and larvae.
Eastern Collared Lizard
These lizards are insectivorous and are opportunistic foragers. Generally they eat grasshoppers, crickets, wasps, cicadas, butterflies, beetles, wolf and jumping spiders, together with other soft-bodied arthropods. They also prey small vertebrates such as small skinks, baby cotton rats, earless lizards, and small snakes.
Plateau Earless Lizard
The diet of plateau earless lizard includes crickets, grasshoppers, small beetles, spiders, and other soft-bodied insects.
Keeled Earless Lizard
The most common diet of these lizards includes beetles, grasshoppers, spiders, and beetle larvae and this makes up 76% of the total diet. However, they also eat leafhoppers, crickets, flies, and ants.
Texas Horned Lizard
These horned lizards predominantly feeds on large ants especially ‘Harvester’ ant Pogonomyrmex. However, they are exclusively ant-eaters. Other diet includes grasshoppers, small ground beetles, weevils, true bugs, and crickets. They have a very specialized diet and are NOT opportunistic eaters which is why Texas horned lizards have less competition.
Texas Spiny Lizard
Like other North American Lizards, Texas Spiny mostly feeds on insects and other arthropods. Most of their diet is composed of grasshoppers but they also eat June beetles, Lepidoptera larvae, blister beetles, and arachnids including spiders and mites. They occasionally eat flying insects.
Crevice Spiny Lizard
These are rock-dwelling species and they feed on arthropods but they are insectivores. Other foods in the lizard’s diet includes grasshoppers, wood-boring beetles, crickets, weevils, darkling beetles, cockroaches, large ants, termites, caterpillars, mantids, moths, terrestrial spiders, true bugs, and flies. They rarely feed on berries, flowers, leaves, and soft buds.
Skinks (Family Scincidae)
Skink is known to consume caterpillars, grasshoppers, snails, leafhoppers, crickets, centipedes, arachnids, and small invertebrates. It has fed on young collared lizards (Crotaphytus collaris) but they do not eat vertebrates of other species. In general, they are opportunistic feeders.
Some skinks species prefer to eat roaches Diptera, and leafhoppers. Their diet is composed of other invertebrates including mealworms, small arachnids, maggots, isopods, pupae of other species, and amphipod crustaceans.
Teiids (Family Teiidae)
Teiids diet is composed of terrestrial arthropods such as moth larvae, beetles, ticks, termites, grasshoppers, and spiders.
The diet of these lizards consists of adult moths, crickets, true bugs, wasps, beetles, planthoppers, leafhoppers, flies, and ants. They rarely feed on snails but they do eat spiders.
Anguids (Family Anguidae)
Anguids typically feed on flying and ground insects such as grasshoppers, roaches, beetles, cicadas, beetle larvae, moths, mealworms and other slow-moving insects. Scorpions, lizards (Holbrookia texana, Eumeces obsoletus, Sceloporus), spiders, worms, small snakes (young Thamnophis sirtalis, newborn Elaphe guttata, and adult Storeria dekayi). Newborn mice are also eaten.