Side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana), which are prevalent in the western regions of the United States, are small creatures that typically exist in arid environments that are full of gravel, stones, loess or sand. Some common locales for side-blotched lizards include foothills, forests and deserts. In terms of diet, the little guys are very big on bugs.
When it comes to eating, side-blotched lizards definitely aren't the pickiest animals out there. They are opportunistic feeders, which means that they generally are willing to consume any sustenance they can get in front of them. Searching for nourishment is not a big priority for side-blotched lizards. If these animals can trap something easily while they're going about their normal business, they will probably feast on it.
The basic diet of the side-blotched lizard consists of bugs and other varieties of arthropods. Some key components of the species' diet include sow bugs, caterpillars, ticks, grasshoppers, flies, mites, spiders, beetles, mealworms, termites, ants and scorpions. Fully grown male side-blotched lizards also occasionally consume their offspring, as well.
For the most part, side-blotched lizards are insectivorous organisms. They also once in a while display omnivorous tendencies -- eating plant matter unintentionally or out of the need for hydration. However, consumption of any plants is very few and far between for this lizard species.
Heavy Consumption of Insects
Side-blotched lizards love to eat insects -- and lots and lots of them, for that matter. They are not dainty eaters in any sense of the word. Just one individual side-blotched lizard may be able to scarf down upwards of 9,000 separate bugs within the span of a year, according to the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Although side-blotched lizards are predators to a large array of small insects, they have a lot of predators of their own, too. Some of the different and diverse animals that frequently prey on the grayish-brown creatures include raptors, striped whip snakes, leopard lizards, collared lizards, skunks, weasels, night snakes, roadrunners, hawks and loggerhead shrikes. Side-blotched lizards do a lot of eating, but are often eaten, as well.
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