Posted by: atowhee | July 4, 2012


Next time you meet one of our very common Western Fence Lizards, say “thanks.”  or better yet, feed him a small caterpillar.  Seems we westerners have Mr. W.F. Lizard to thank for the low incidence of Lyme Disease in our area.

Here’s alink to the NPR “On Point” segment where I first heard about our fencelizard’s natural defences against Lyme Disease microbes.  Inside the lizard the microbes are killed off, thus reducing the spread and prevalence of Lyme Disease in the wild in the fence lizard’s range.

If you’ve paid myuch attention to lizards you will know they are as prone to tick bites (and thus Lyme Disease microbes) as you or the local mule deer.  The lizards, however, have their own anti-Lyme shield.


While we’reon things reptilian, the world;s alrgest reptiles are apparnelty facing serious survival challenges.  Here’s an NBC video story on the Komodo lizards.




  1. Very interesting about the fence lizard! I wonder if the same phenomenon happens with these lizards and soft-bodied ticks (also found in California), which don’t spread Lyme, but spread other Borrelia that cause Relapsing Fever.

  2. And our alien turkeys aka wild turkeys eat lizards thus running the risk of increasing the incidence of Lyme disease in the western US.

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