What Do Blue Belly Lizards Eat?

Written by August Croft
Published: December 22, 2021
© Simone Hogan/Shutterstock.com
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Commonly known as the western fence lizard, the blue belly lizard is frequently seen throughout the western United States and Northern Mexico. It eats a variety of things, both in captivity and in the wild. 

So, what do blue belly lizards eat? Blue belly lizards eat a variety of insects, including crickets, ants, worms, and spiders

But how much is a small blue belly lizard capable of eating? And do these common reptiles have any predators in the wild? If you are curious about learning more about the blue belly lizard, read on to discover more! 

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What Does a Blue Belly Lizard Eat?

What do blue belly lizards eat - Up close on face
Blue belly lizards eat insects, worms, and spiders.

©Ryan M. Bolton/Shutterstock.com

A blue belly lizard eats crickets, ants, spiders, and worms. They are insectivores and carnivores, capable of eating just about any bug that is smaller than they are.

According to a study performed by William H. Clark for Herpetologica, the western fence lizard’s stomach contents were examined and the reptile had only consumed bugs. A wide variety of bugs to be sure, but no plant matter or other species of animal was found.

Living off of just bugs is what this lizard loves, like many other lizards and reptiles. Blue belly lizards are very common in gardens for this reason, especially in areas that also get a lot of sunlight throughout the day.

You will know a blue belly lizard when you see one- it will have small blue scales around its face, and even a large swathe of blue on its stomach and front. The main body of these lizards may be brown, gray, or black, but you will no doubt see the blue and perhaps even yellow present on or around the legs.

A Complete List of 11 Foods Blue Belly Lizards Eat

Blue belly lizards or western fence lizards have been known to eat the following things:

It is safe to assume that blue belly lizards eat just about any bug found in nature, no matter the age or size. Blue belly lizards eat larger bugs as they get older, leading many experts to assume that the size of the bug does matter. 

According to a study done by Copeia, many blue belly lizards leave smaller bugs for smaller lizards, especially juveniles or those still growing in their first year. This helps reduce competition among the younger reptiles.

The western fence lizard is capable of changing color, though this is not likely a technique used in their hunting habits. Most reptiles need heat to survive, and blue belly lizards can change their color so that they can better absorb the sun’s warmth. 

This is why you will often see blue belly lizards sunning themselves on rocks, fences, and sometimes in the middle of the streets. They also enjoy living in environments near water so that they always have hydration nearby. 

How Much Does a Blue Belly Lizard Eat?

A blue belly lizard eats roughly 3-4 times per week, and sporadically. Many western fence lizard owners state that however much your lizard eats within five minutes should be the amount that you feed them every other day.

According to the same study from Herpetologica, blue belly lizards eat roughly 97% insects for their diet. The other 3% was primarily debris, no doubt from hunting and catching said insects. 

Blue belly lizards do not need to be fed daily if you are keeping one as a pet. But more on that later!

What Eats Blue Belly Lizards? Their Main Predators

What Do Blue Belly Lizards Eat - On a Fence Post
Blue belly lizards will also prey on smaller lizards when given the chance.

©Isabel Eve/Shutterstock.com

Blue belly lizards have a few predators, especially in more suburban areas. Some of these predators include:

Western fence lizards are often victims of house cat attacks, especially in residential gardens. However, these lizards are built with a few unique defense mechanisms, including the ability to detach their tail with little harm.

Many types of lizards can regrow their tails, and the blue belly lizard is no exception. They are also capable of moving very quickly, darting out of the way of predators to avoid capture. 

Another thing that blue belly lizards can do to escape an enemy is bite them. They can be particularly vicious when they bite, which is why humans should be cautious when attempting to handle a wild western fence lizard.

These lizards are also capable of scaling rocks and the sides of buildings, often at sharp angles. According to another study found in Herpetologica, blue belly lizards prefer sunning spots at roughly 45 degree angles more often than not.

What to Feed Blue Belly Lizards as a Pet

Blue belly lizard on rock
Pet blue belly lizards eat mostly live crickets and mealworms.

©Simone Hogan/Shutterstock.com

You should feed your pet blue belly lizard a strict insect diet. Allowing your Western fence lizard the opportunity to catch live insects should also be a priority for you as a lizard pet owner. They enjoy hunting, and should be allowed to do so in their enclosure.

Blue belly lizards need a heat lamp or a warming rock so that they can maintain their body temperature accordingly. You should also make sure they have a water dish or the ability to drink water droplets from daily misting. 

Blue belly lizards do not need to be fed every day, and you can even feed them some treats. They may not eat all of these types of treats, but you can always give it a try! Here are some potential treats to feed your blue belly lizard:

  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Apple
  • Mustard greens
  • Mealworms
  • Live crickets

These lizards, whether domesticated or wild, often hide and are not very keen on being seen by people. Make sure your blue belly lizard has a place to hide in its enclosure, so that it can feel happy and healthy! 

The Featured Image

Blue belly lizard on rock
© Simone Hogan/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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