Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum)
Looking very similar to Australia’s Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus), the Texas Horned Lizard (sometimes misleadingly called a “horny toad”) is found across the south central and south western united states and in Northern Mexico, in grassy and arid habitats. Like the Thorny Devil, this lizard eats primarily ants, though it also takes termites and other small insects.Also like the thorny devil, they are covered with protective spikes.
(photo by Jerry Oldenettel)
The horned lizards (there are a number of species) have a specialized defense mechanism. When seized or molested by a predator, they can break capillaries in the corners of their eyes and SQUIRT BLOOD!
(individual has just squirted blood, photo by Randomtruth)
Because of habitat disturbance, this lizard is in decline in parts of its historical range. They are a protected species in the state of Texas.
(top photo: Ken-ichi Ueda)