Looking to learn about the Mexican mole lizard? You're in the right place. Here, we'll tell you all about this amazing animal that looks like a cross between a snake and a lizard.
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22 Mexican Mole Lizard Facts
Also known as a five-toed worm lizard, the Mexican mole lizard is one of the most unique creatures in the animal kingdom. When you see one for the first time, you might confuse it with a worm because it has such a long body and very small legs.
But it is an interesting animal all on it's own!
1. What does the Mexican mole lizard look like?
The Mexican mole lizard combines the look of a worm with a lizard. They are a dull pink color, though some can be slightly gray. Though not very vibrant, they still look pretty neat.
When you look closely at the lizard's skin, you'll notice lines that relate to body segments that look similar to a piece of corrugated cardboard.
Watch on YouTube
The lizards also have round heads that they press into and against the ground before burrowing through the soil.
The Mexican mole lizard also has a tail that can move independently of its body and two forelegs.
2. How big is a Mexican mole lizard?
From the top of its head to the base of its tail, the Mexican mole lizard measures 7.1 to 9.4 inches (18 to 24 centimeters). They are less than 0.3 inches (6 centimeters) wide.
3. How much does a Mexican mole lizard weigh?
Not much! Mexican mole lizards are actually quite light. Most of the lizards only weigh around 3 ounces. Babies weigh a fraction of an ounce and put on some weight as they age.
4. What is the Mexican mole lizards Latin name?
The official Latin name for the Mexican mole lizard is Bipes biporus. This name refers to the type of lizard and the fact that it has multiple toes.
Though it looks like a combination of a lizard and an earthworm, the Mexican mole lizard actually belongs to a completely different species, amphisbaenians. These are creatures that have the body of a worm but the legs of an amphibian.
5. What other names does the Mexican mole lizard have?
Called the Mexican mole lizard because it burrows into the ground and commonly lives in parts of Mexico and nearby regions, the lizard is also known as a Bipes (for its species).
The only other name used to describe this creature is five-toed worm lizard because it looks like a worm and has five toes.
Some also call this lizard an ajolote. Another animal known by that name is the axolotl (Mexican walking fish).
6. Are Mexican mole lizards aggressive?
No. This lizard is generally not aggressive and prefers to live hidden away from humans. They often hide deep in the sand or dirt and only come out a few times a day.
7. Do Mexican mole lizards bite?
Not really. Though the lizards have teeth, they rarely bite. Those bites should not cause any pain or discomfort because their teeth are so small.
You can usually grab the lizard's head with two fingers and carefully pry its mouth away from your body without hurting you or the lizard.
One of the more interesting Mexican mole lizard facts is that the lizards have clamps that they use to grasp dirt and move it out of the way. The lizard can grab anything in the area such as your skin as it tries to run away.
8. How long do Mexican mole lizards live?
They only live for 1-2 years.
9. What eats a Mexican mole lizard? Predators & Threats
These little guys are pretty defenseless. Unfortunately, there isn't a ton of research on just what predators the Mexican mole lizard has.
It is safe to assume, though, that pretty much any larger animal with an appetite for lizards would threaten this little dude.
Humans are natural predators to the lizard too because of the damage they do to the animals' ecosystem. Every time that new construction pops up in Mexico and California, the amount of space for the lizards will drop.
10. Is the Mexican mole lizard endangered?
No, the Mexican mole lizard is not an endangered species. In fact, it's classed as ‘least concern,' so there isn't anything to worry about – for a while, anyway.
11. What do Mexican mole lizards eat?
One unique thing about this lizard is that it can and will eat anything it encounters in the wild. Mexican mole lizards primarily consume the insects found in the ground near their homes.
Those insects include termites and ants. It can also eat earthworms and other insects that live on the surface of the ground or just below the surface.
When the lizard is hungry, it uses its clamps and legs to grab and pull the soil down. It can use its legs and head to push through the soil to find food.
In a few rare cases, the lizard will eat smaller lizards too. This usually only occurs when the lizard cannot find any insects. The most common food sources they hunt include termites and ants.
12. Do Mexican mole lizards make noise?
Not really. Mexican mole lizards are not loud. As the lizards are so small and light, they can burrow through and across your yard without knowing it, even moving directly under your feet. It's almost impossible to hear their feet moving or to hear them eating.
13. Do Mexican mole lizards carry disease?
None that we need to worry about. As the lizard lives so deep in the ground, it does not carry the same diseases that other creatures living above ground do.
You can safely handle a Mexican mole lizard without worry about transferring diseases to others, though you'll still want to wash your hands after touching one.
14. Are Mexican mole lizards poisonous?
No. These lizards are not poisonous and are safe to touch and handle. You should be wary of letting the lizard attach its clamps to or rub its teeth against your skin.
It can pick up bacteria and germs in the ground, especially if it lives in or around contaminated water sources. The lizard can transfer those germs and bacteria onto your skin, which you can then spread to others.
15. Where does the Mexican mole lizard live?
Mexican mole lizards only live naturally in a few places in the world today, most commonly the area around Baja, California.
Though similar lizards live in parts of South America and Africa, the only natural habitats for this lizard are in Central American and North America. Those found in Europe and other regions are usually pets released into the wild by their owners.
They have a difficult time living in cooler climates, which is why they live in Mexico and California.
16. What is the habitat of the Mexican mole lizard?
Most of the habitats and homes for the Mexican mole lizard are near the Pacific Ocean. The warm weather in this region creates the perfect breeding ground for the lizard.
Between the freshwater that falls from the sky and the saltwater in the ocean, the ground and soils are soft and damp. The lizard can easily burrow through that ground with minimal work.
17. Where can I see the Mexican mole lizard?
They are hard to spot! You have the best chances of seeing one at night, but you'll need a flashlight.
Watch on YouTube
A note from the video: Maybe don't pull the tiny nocturnal creature out of its escape hole and shine a bright light in its face?! 🙄
Always respect nature when you're out observing it!
There are some breeders in the United States and other countries that offer the lizards for sale too.
18. How do Mexican mole lizards breed?
Mexican mole lizards mate in July each year. The lizards often lay their eggs underground and in a safe place that they can easily return to after eating.
It's also common for the lizards to come to the surface and place their eggs on the ground, usually after a recent storm passes through.
That storm will leave the soil damp and make it easier for the lizards to find the right spot for their eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the new lizards will instinctively know how to burrow.
19. How does the Mexican mole lizard get prey?
This type of lizard attacks and gets its prey through a combination of its teeth and clamps. As soon as it spots its prey, the lizard will use its forelegs to grab the insect.
It will then clamp down on the insect and use its upper body to pull the insect into its mouth. Though the lizard does not have sharp teeth, the teeth are strong enough to bite through the insect's head or body. It uses the same process to attack other lizards.
20. What color is the Mexican mole lizard?
The most common color associated with the Mexican mole lizard is pink. Most of the lizards have a soft pink color that comes from the nutrients in the soil and the food that it eats.
Depending on where it lives though, this color can range from a soft and dull shade of pearl pink to a bright shade of hot pink. Some lizards are also gray in color.
Some believe that the lighter colored lizards do a better job of blending into the environment and helping them hide from predators and their prey.
According to modern research, yes. Some of the creatures are said to closely resemble the Mexican mole lizard, including worm lizards. Also called members of the Squamata order, a worm lizard is a type of snake.
Though they often look like earthworms and can have corrugated bodies, they have the same forked tongues that snakes do. Worm lizards have sharp teeth and can be dangerous to humans, unlike Mexican mole lizards.
To me, it seems like worm lizards are more like snakes than lizards, and maybe should be in a class all their own!
22. When is the best time to see a Mexican mole lizard?
Your best bet is probably to go searching at night. This is when the lizards come to hunt for food and when they lay their eggs.
You can also look for the lizard after a storm. Mexican mole lizards like the cool temperatures that those storms bring.
Magnificent Mole Lizards
We hope you've enjoyed learning about these little weirdos! What was your favorite fact? Still have questions? Let me know in the comments!