Do Snakes Eat Lizards?

Ever wondered what happens if snakes and lizards meet in wild. Do they fight each other to death?

Or

Do they get along?

Dont worry, we will answer all your questions below.

  •  ​​Do Snakes Eat Lizards?
  • How Do Snakes Catch Lizards?
  • What Type of Snakes Eat Lizards?
  • What Snakes Don’t Eat Lizards?
  • What Do Lizards and Snakes Have in Common?
  • Do Snakes and Lizards Get Along?

​​Do Snakes Eat Lizards?

Yes, Snakes do like to eat lizards. To them, snakes see lizards as another meal and will instantly attack them. On average, it takes a snake up to 4 days to fully digest a lizard, but the lizard gives it the nutrients needed to sustain and remain healthy. 

How Do Snakes Catch Lizards?

Stalking Their Prey

First, snakes will stalk and sneak up on the lizard. While snakes use multiple senses to hunt, they use smell as a primary source of information. Snakes smell through their tongues, receiving chemical information from potential mates or prey. 

Additionally, snakes use their tongues to inspect newer locations. Snakes have a forked tongue, making it easier for them to sense the direction where their smell is coming from. 

Next, the chemical information transfers from the tongue to the Jacobson’s organ. This organ assists the snake in determining if the prey is nearby and interprets smell information.

Venom

Snakes that are venomous have a higher chance of killing lizards. They inject their toxins by biting their prey or spitting at them from the tip of their fangs. Snake venom has two different subtypes and four different forms of neurotoxins. 

The neurotoxins are used to attack the body’s neural pathways, making them more subdued and easier for the snake to consume. Here are three forms of cytotoxins found in venom:

  1. Hemotoxins: Hemotoxins destroy the red blood cells and cause coagulation or blood clotting in the body.
  2. Cardiotoxins: Cardiotoxins bind to the heart and prevent muscle contraction. In severe cases, it will lead to death or arrhythmia.
  3. Phospholipases: Phospholipases: work by binding fat to the cells which lead to cell membrane damage. 

Body Heat Detection

Most cold-blooded snakes prefer to hunt alone. Fortunately, this snake uses special receptors on its head to capture body heat. This is helpful for snakes that hunt in the night. The receptors are found in pit vipers, which obtain their name from using their air heat-seeking pits.   

Eyesight

While it isn’t their strongest hunting weapon, snakes do use eyesight to help with tracking their play. Your snake’s vision will depend on where its eyes are located. Some snakes have a good front-facing vision, while others have a better visual field because their eyes are located on the sides. 

Snakes that hunt at night have a developed night vision system. However, sneaks have specialized eyesight, which aids in detecting movement. 

Snakes tend to move past animals that standstill. In addition, snakes don’t blink.  Because of these behaviors, it is rumored that snakes hypnotize their prey into stillness.                

What Type of Snakes Eat Lizards?

  • Black Rat Snakes

The black rat snakes are non-venomous and are found in North America. They prefer to live in wooded areas and are known for their excellent climbing ability. 

Black rat lizards are constrictors, meaning that they will squeeze their prey until it dies of cardiovascular collapse. 

  • Garter

Garter snakes are non-venomous snakes that range from small to medium-sized. Adult garter snakes range from 46 – 137 cm. They use their  vomeronasal organ to pick up nearby sounds and prey within the 

While adult garter snakes don’t have venom, they still like to hunt animals such as lizards, leeches, and amphibians. 

  • Rat snakes

Rat snakes are medium to large size constrictors that are located in North America. Like most snakes, they become defensive when humans or another animal approaches them.

In addition, rat snakes aren’t a threat to humans, making them a good pet for your home. The snakes don’t have venom within their bodies, making them a great pet for your home. 

  • Black Racers

On average, adult black racers range from 50-152 cm in length. These snakes have excellent vision, and their diet consists of rodents, lizards, frogs, toads, and other snakes. 

Most black racers like to live in water, swamps, roadsides, and in the ground. They prefer to live in open grasslands where they can utilize their eyesight. 

Due to their improved vision, it’s easier for them to track and kill lizards. Once they have the lizard in their jaws, the lizard can’t escape. 

  • Corn

The corn snake is a subspecies of rat snake that kills its prey by constriction. Most people mistake this snake for the venomous copperhead, but the corn snake does not have venom inside their bodies. 

Adult corn snakes range from 61-182 cm. On average, they have a lifespan of 6-7 years in the wild but can live up to 30 years in captivity. 

Lizards are a primary part of their diet. While most corn snakes eat rodents, they also eat amphibians, bird’s eggs, and other reptiles!

  • Gopher

Gopher snakes are large snakes that are powerfully built. The snakes have a small head in portion with their body. Gopher snakes have an epiglottis that is flexible and thin. 

When air or steam passes by their epiglottis, this snake will produce a hissing sound. This sound can be used to warn other snakes and intimidate their prey. 

  • King 

Kingsnakes are non-venomous and have an ophiophagous diet. Adult kingsnakes range up to 40-50 cm, while the average kingsnake grows to be 6 feet long.

When hunting, kingsnakes are opportunistic and use constriction to subdue their prey. The average kingsnake is immune to other snakes’ venom and doesn’t eat rattlesnakes. Subspecies like the California Kingsnake can exert constriction energy that’s twice the size of a python or rodent. 

  • Rattlesnakes

Rattlesnakes are venomous, making it easier for them to kill lizards. They receive their name because of the rattle placed on the back of their tails. The tail makes a loud rattling noise as a way to intimidate predators and warn other animals passing by it. 

Due to their venomous bite, rattlesnakes can latch onto a lizard and kill it with one bite. After fully defeating its prey, the snake will consume it by swallowing it in its mouth. 

What Snakes Don’t Eat Lizards?

  • Snail eating snakes

As their name suggests, snail-eating snakes only eat snails in their diet.  Over 75 snail-eating snakes are present in the wild. Their jawlines are designed in a way where they cannot eat anything that isn’t a snail or a slug. 

Because of this, snail-eating snakes are unable to eat lizards. First, their faces aren’t able to swallow them. And they don’t have any venom to subdue them, forcing them to have a snail-only diet. 

  • Water Snakes

Water snakes got their name for residing in aquatic areas. They have adapted to eat virtually anything in their environment, including frogs and fish. 

Like most animals, water snakes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. This means that while they are some that can eat fish and frogs, smaller water snakes eat insects and worms.

  • African Egg Eating Snake

African snakes are good-natured, but they are rarely in captivity. This is a docile snake species as they are only able to feed on eggs. This food isn’t effective for squeamish owners who are afraid of rodents. However, this snake is easy to care for because it’s hard to find appropriate nutrients for baby snakes of this nature.

Baby snakes obtain finch and quail eggs because they’re softer to eat and easier to use. It’s not advised to get chicken eggs, but they can work for adult snakes. 

African egg-eating snakes tend to be small throughout their whole lives. So make sure you give them enough space for them to enjoy their environment. 

What Do Lizards and Snakes Have in Common?

Both lizards and snakes are reptiles. They are both cold-blooded, meaning that they tend to thrive in environments that are within 70-90 degrees. Snakes and lizards have scales and quadrate bones, which makes it easier for them to open their mouths wide. 

Quadrate bones are visible in snakes, as it allows them to open their mouths wide and feed on large prey. Without their quadrate bones, snakes would be very limited. 

Do Snakes and Lizards Get Along?

Snakes and lizards are not social animals. Due to their reptilian nature, they like to live life by themselves. When engaging with another reptile, they will become aggressive and fight to protect their territory. 

If you have a snake and a lizard as a pet, it’s best to keep them separate. Both will attempt to fight each other, and the snake will kill your pet, iguana, or lizard if left unattended. 

Conclusion

To conclude, your pet snake will eat a lizard most of the time. However, you should diversify their diet by feeding them foods such as rodents, frogs, and fish. Doing this will ensure that your snake will have the nutrients needed to sustain its health and be ready for its next prey. 

FAQs

How to Protect My Pet Lizard From a Snake?

Snakes attack lizards because they see them as prey. If you have a pet lizard or snake, keep them away from the snake by placing it in a separate tank. That way, your lizard will remain protected and reduce the chance of them getting affected by the snake’s venom.

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