What Eats Lizards? 12 Lizard Predators (Animal Answers)

In this guide, we’ll answer the question:

“What eats lizards?”

First, you’ll find a short summary of what animals eat lizards in the wild and then get a detailed list of lizard predators.

Lizards are a group of squamate reptiles with more than 6,000 species and range in size from small chameleons to large Komodo dragons. Lizards are native to all continents, except Antarctica, and most oceanic island chains.

Lizards use a variety of antipredator adaptations for survival, including venom, camouflage, reflex bleeding, and the ability to sacrifice and regrow the tail.

The average lifespan for a lizard is 20 years.

What Eats Lizards
What Do Wild Lizards Eat?
What Do Wild Lizards Eat?

What Eats Lizards?

Animals that eat lizards include cats, dogs, feral pigs, fish, hawks, mongooses, owls, raccoons, snakes, spiders, vultures, and humans. A lizard has many natural predators and falls prey to a variety of species.

Lizard Predators

Cats

Feral cats have strong hunting instincts and will pounce lizards that live in their habitat.

A feral cat is a great lizard predator because of their agility and speed. In addition, their extendable claws allow them to climb steep walls and trees, which are common places to find lizards.

Nonetheless, lizards can be poisonous to both feral and house cats.

According to the Nest, “Geckos…carry parasites called liver flukes that are potentially deadly for cats. They don’t harm the lizards in whose bodies they reside, but when your cat friend snacks on an affected lizard, that parasite can move into her bile duct and cause a potentially fatal inflammation.”

Dogs

Large venomous lizards like the Gila monster and monitor lizard contain enough venom that can kill a dog. So you likely won’t see a dog attacking this type of lizard.

However, dogs are curious animals that enjoy chasing prey animals, especially smaller lizards that have very little venom or no venom at all.

Dogs have the advantage of stamina and relentlessness, allowing them to capture lizards before escaping into water or hiding in their burrows.

Feral Pigs

Feral pigs, mostly found in America and Australia, prey on rodents, snakes, and lizards. As opportunistic omnivores, feral pigs will feed on grown adult lizard reptiles as well as the eggs.

Fish

Medium and big-sized lizards eat fish, but the reserve is common for small and aquatic lizards.

Lizards, such as basilisk lizards, water dragons, and Philippine sailfin dragons, have a special affinity for water and the ability to adapt to aquatic living conditions, making them prey to predatory fish, such as bass and pike.

Hawks

Even though hawks are opportunistic feeders that prefer killing small mammals, such as mice, squirrels, and rabbits, they sometimes target reptiles like lizards.

Hawks target lizards because they are easy to catch and lightweight. However, because many lizards contain pathogens that can kill their predators, hawks avoid feeding on their skins or heads.

Mongooses

A mongoose is a carnivorous mammal that mainly feeds on snakes and lizards.

Mongooses are great lizard hunters and are not scared by the toxic pathogens that might be present on a lizard’s skin or head because their blood contains proteins that can neutralize the poison.

Lizards usually defend themselves by shedding or whipping their tail, but mongooses usually win in a fight because they attack a lizard’s head.

Owls

Owls are carnivorous birds that feed on large insects, small rodents, and reptiles such as lizards.

Burrowing owls are some of the most well-known opportunistic feeders that eat lizards, preferably Tropical House Geckos.

Interestingly, after an owl captures and kills a lizard, it will often store a surplus of the meat in a cache (e.g., the nest, tree hole, or a fork in a branch) for later consumption.

Raccoons

Raccoons are opportunistic predators with a diet comprising lizards, a rich source of proteins and vitamins.

Raccoons are safe from poisoning by dangerous salmonella germs present on the lizard’s skin because of their strong stomach acids.

However, because adult species of lizards are quick on their feet, a raccoon is more likely to eat young, injured, or dead lizards it can catch more easily.

Snakes

Snakes are common lizard predators because of their ability to climb trees and swiftly move on the ground.

Snakes prefer small skink lizards because they are easily digested.

Snakes can swallow prey whole, making it easier to feed on lizards of varying sizes. However, it is not uncommon for snakes to also eat lizard eggs.

Spiders

House lizards like geckos and chameleons commonly hunt and eat spiders, but spiders, even though small, can sometimes make a meal out of lizards.

This National Geographic article explains that a regal jumping spider can devour lizards three times its size. The article references a new study in the Journal of Arachnology that reveals for the first time scientists have published observations of jumping spiders–the biggest family of spiders–eating vertebrates.

Vultures

Vultures are carnivorous birds that primarily eat animal carcasses. But even though vultures prefer eating freshly deadly animals, they sometimes target small reptiles like lizards for an easy meal.

A vulture will also scavenge through lizard nests and feed on the eggs as well.

Humans

Lizards are considered a delicacy in some parts of the world, especially Central and South America.

And according to Healthline, “The types of lizards that people most commonly eat are the green iguana, black iguana, gecko, green anole, brown anole, and skinks.”

What Do Lizards Eat?

Lizards are herbivores that must eat vegetation to survive.

You can visit our other guide on what do lizards eat to find out more about what these reptiles feed on for nutrition.

Lizard predators

Animals That Eat Lizards Summary

You now know what eats lizards in the wild and which species are the top lizard predators.

As you discovered in this guide, there are about 12 animals that eat lizards in nature throughout the entire life cycle of these reptiles.