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Horned Toad Lizard Reptile & Velvet Ants.

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Horned Lizard & Velvet Ants

Horned Lizard & Velvet Ants

horny-toads
Horned Lizard & Velvet Ants

Horned Lizard & Velvet Ants

Horned Toad Lizard.

It's sad to hear the horned lizards are now endangered. They are also called horny toad and are in the reptile family.

When we were kids and lived in California there was a field across the street from our home. The field was full of horny toads. I think the ones we had were called the Desert Horned Lizard, but there are Coast Horned Lizard so I'm not sure which we had.

We often searched for them. They buried their bodies in the sand. We played with them all the time. It was fun to see how many we could collect. We never kept them long and always let them go back in the field. We played in the field from morning till evening. It was a field between our house and my grandmother's house. On the end of the field was the Taylor farm. Nice couple who grew strawberries. I often went over to get some strawberries with a horned lizard in my hand. Mrs.Taylor always made me put my lizard down and wash my hands before she would give me strawberries.

All my Mom had to do was look out the window and she could see us. We built forts and made roads for the ants in our field.

We would have ant wars red ants against the black ants. Black ants were the good ants they didn't bite like the more aggressive red ants (Red harvester ant).

Horned Lizard is one of our nice little creatures they never bite but do squirt blood from their eyes when upset. They can puff up their bodies to twice their size and they have a chemical which makes dogs sick.

They lay ten to thirty eggs at a time by burying the eggs in the sand, like turtles do. The babies are the cutest little things. We were always so happy if we found a baby horned lizard. They're not easy to keep as pets because they need the ants to survive.

The field was full of red and black ants which the horny toad loved to eat. They do no harm and they eat insects, aren't they cute?

The field is gone now full of big houses. (I checked the field out on Google Earth) I guess it is why the horned lizards are dying off no place to eat and losing their habitats. All very big houses now and even on my grandmother's streets, they have turned those little flat top houses into big houses. Taylor Farm is gone. Our little house is still there next to large houses.

There are 14 species of spiny horny toads. They can live up to 8 years.

Here's a map from National Geographic it shows the range of Short-Horned Lizard-Toads. This map doesn't show the desert or coast horny toads, but it does give you an idea of the range of some horned lizard.

They do have their enemies other than humans. This is a Loggerhead Shrike with a horned lizard in its mouth. The Shrike is also losing its habitat.

We had horned toads in Texas also but not as many as we found in California.

I was one of those kids always had a jar in my hand for bugs, bees or anything I could find to put in it. I loved crawly things. I still love to look at bugs and any kind of wildlife, now I take pictures of them.

Houses Now, Field is Gone.

horny-toads
Velvet Ants

Velvet Ants

White Velvet Ant

Velvet Ants.

Like I said horny toads ate the mean little red and white velvet ants (Cow Killers) were in the field but their main diet was harvester ants also called big red ants. We had plenty of the harvester ants in the field.The red and white velvet ants are also called dasymutilla gloriosa. They're actually not ants but wasps. I hated them when I was a kid. It hurt when they stung, aren't they ugly? We had all kinds of ants in the field and all kinds of creatures. I am very surprised we never ran into a rattlesnake. California is sure full of rattlesnakes.

Even though I didn't like the wasp I would hate to see them disappear and they are God's creatures.

It's sad to lose the animals we saw as kids, but I guess it's happening each day. Humans are the cause of the loss of so many of our wildlife. Housing areas move in and the ants are killed or moved out so then the horny toads have nothing to eat.

Blainville's Horned Lizard Facts.

Blainville's Horned Lizard

© 2008 moonlake

Comments

moonlake (author) from America on May 20, 2014:

Teaglet, I wonder too maybe we are related. I sure do appreciate you stopping by reading my hub. I'm so glad it brought back memories.

Teaglet on May 19, 2014:

It was so interesting reading your posts, funny how you were in Colton Califorina and in El Paso, same as me...I remember the Horned Toads, brings back memories, mmmm I wonder if your related to me?

moonlake (author) from America on November 10, 2013:

Au fait, They are cute little guys haven't seen any for years. Thanks for the share and pin.

C E Clark from North Texas on November 05, 2013:

Forgot how cute these little toads can be. Came back to pin this to my "Wild Animals' board and to share with my followers.

moonlake (author) from America on July 28, 2013:

happy adobe, I don't know if that would hurt them. The only thing I can say is they need ants. It may be if you don't have any on your property there are not enough ants for them to eat. Thank you so much for stopping by my hub I appreciate it.

happy adobe on July 27, 2013:

can horney toads be relocated we live in central az. we have them at ower retail shop and live about 6 miles away but would never want to indanger them by moving some of them to ower property

moonlake (author) from America on July 25, 2013:

Peggy W, Thank you I appreciate that.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 25, 2013:

Going to pin this hub to my animal board on Pinterest. Also giving it a tweet! :)

moonlake (author) from America on June 17, 2013:

DonnaCSmith, Oh they sting and it hurts and they are more aggressive than the black ants. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

moonlake (author) from America on June 17, 2013:

pinto2011, Thank you thanks so much for stopping by. Ugly little guys those velvety ants.

moonlake (author) from America on June 17, 2013:

FlourishAnyway, Thank you and thanks for stopping by I appreciate it.

moonlake (author) from America on June 17, 2013:

rajan jolly, Your right even ants are disappearing. Thanks so much for stopping by. Thanks for the vote and share.

Donna Campbell Smith from Central North Carolina on June 16, 2013:

I remember the big red "ants". I never was stung by one though.

Subhas from New Delhi, India on June 16, 2013:

Hi moonlake! I knew about the horny toads but velvety ant is something I just learnt from this hub. Very well written and well thought out hub.

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 16, 2013:

Squirting blood out of their eyes when upset. Wow! I've never seen one of these guys, so I appreciate the photos and description.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 16, 2013:

Enjoyed reading this hub. Getting to see a horned or other toads is becoming fewer and far in between. Even ants have become scarce.

Voted up and shared.

moonlake (author) from America on February 21, 2013:

Sharkye11, Thanks so much for stopping by. They are such cute little animals I would also hate to see them gone.

moonlake (author) from America on February 21, 2013:

Peggy W, Thank you I appreciate it. I know I will never see another one. I would love to.

Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on February 20, 2013:

Oooh! We still have some horned toads here in Oklahoma. They are fun little beasts. we also have plenty of ants, which is probably why the lizards want to hang out around here. Great hub! I too, would hate to see these animals go extinct!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 20, 2013:

Hi moonlake,

Came back to tell you that I am sharing this hub with others. Wonder if I will ever see another horny toad in the wild?

moonlake (author) from America on February 01, 2013:

Sherry Hewins, Your mom sounds like us when we were kids. We played with the horny toads but we also played with the ants we would put the black and red ants together and watch them fight. We liked the black ants but didn't like the mean red ants. They didn't like each other. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

moonlake (author) from America on February 01, 2013:

Au fait, Thanks so much for stopping by. It is sad so species are disappearing. Horny toads are such nice little creatures that never hurt anything. Thanks for the vote.

Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on January 31, 2013:

This hub reminds me of the stories my mom tells about playing with horny toads, when she was a kid growing up in west Texas. She used to put them on ant hills so they could eat the ants.

C E Clark from North Texas on January 31, 2013:

Very interesting hub! It is sad the way so many species are disappearing. Yes, I agree the velvet ants are ugly. You have some really excellent photos and videos. Reading about your experience with these creatures made this hub so interesting! Voting it up, interesting, and will share!

moonlake (author) from America on July 14, 2012:

aa lite, I'm as old as the hills and when I was a kid they were always called horny toads but when I tried to put that name on my hub. I guess it was google didn't like it. I had to change it to horned lizards. In my childhood I never knew them as lizards. They are very pretty to look at, but they hurt if they sting. We always called them ants never knowing they were wasp. Thank you so much for stopping by and for following me. I appreciate it.

aa lite from London on July 14, 2012:

I have always really liked the horned lizards, although it annoys me that they are also referred to as the horned toads, since they get mixed up with horned frogs which I write about. Very annoying when I get beaten in the SERPs for 'horned frogs' by articles that are about lizards!

I have never heard of velvet ants on the other hand. They look amazing!

moonlake (author) from America on July 05, 2012:

Nettlmere, You know I can still feel the sting of the velvet ants. They hurt. The lizards were so cute just nice little calm animals. They can run pretty fast but not so fast that they got away from us. Thank you so much for stopping by my hub.

Nettlemere from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on July 05, 2012:

Enjoyed reading about your experiences with horned lizards and velvet ants. The lizards look cute and the ants are interesting.

moonlake (author) from America on April 26, 2012:

lynette68, We always had them as pets when we were kids. They made good pets just like keeping a regular lizard.

So glad you stopped by and left a comment.

lynette68 on April 26, 2012:

I remember catching horny toads back in the late 70's when i was a kid in Wyoming. Just last week we caught one in southwestern Idaho. We took him home and he seems very content with my son.

moonlake (author) from America on April 13, 2012:

billips, It is sad knowing so many are gone or so few left. Thanks so much for stopping by I appreciate it.

billips from Central Texas on April 13, 2012:

Wonderful pictures and a very interesting article - we have lost so many wonderful creatures and are, almost daily, losing more - the world is less for their passing - and of course, we have no one to blame but ourselves - I'm sorry for the young people to come, who will no longer be able to look in wonder at what we once took for granted - B.

moonlake (author) from America on April 01, 2012:

Sharon Thompson, Thanks so much for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

Sharon Thompson on April 01, 2012:

I used to play with horny toads in southern california as a child, we loved them so much and I do miss seeing them. Thank you for your very informative information and your childhood story as well.

moonlake (author) from America on February 21, 2012:

debbie roberts,

Our kids and grandkids have never even seen a horny toad. I don't think their so easy to find anymore.

Thanks so much for stopping by my hub.

Debbie Roberts from Greece on February 20, 2012:

I remember playing out in the garden playing with the frogs in our pond. It's a shame we don't see children doing that anymore!!

You're hub highlights how us humans are slowly destroying wildlife.

I grew up in the UK where it's newts that have slowly disappeared since I was a child.

An interesting hub....

moonlake (author) from America on October 17, 2011:

I just changed the title to Horned Lizard. Now we'll see if ads come on it.

moonlake (author) from America on October 16, 2011:

I'm not seeing any ads on this hubpage when I try to have ads put on they keep telling me it has adult content. I don't know how to fix that problem.

moonlake (author) from America on October 16, 2011:

thimcgaa70, I don't know if their near the canadian border. I thought they are just in the desert states. Will have to check. Your right you would think breeding them would increase their numbers. Thanks so much for stopping by.

tlmcgaa70 from south dakota, usa on October 16, 2011:

we used to catch and play with horned toads growing up in arizona. i was amazed to learn they could be found even up to the canadian border now i will have to do research and see if they are in the badlands of aouth and north dakota. i wonder though...wouldnt captive breeding help increase their numbers like it has so many other endangered species? breeding large numbers in captivity then releasing them into their natural habitats. it should not be hard with reptiles. just a thought

moonlake (author) from America on August 14, 2011:

Use to live in El Paso, Tx when I was 12 to 14 and then later, was married there. Remember the Rio Grande. Thanks so much for stopping by and the rate.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 14, 2011:

I also remember many horny toads in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas back in the 1960's. Haven't seen one in years! That second video was most informative regarding them. Thanks! Rated up, useful and interesting.

moonlake (author) from America on May 28, 2011:

Sun-Girl Thanks, so much for stopping by my hub and leaving such a nice comment.

Sun-Girl from Nigeria on May 28, 2011:

Informative and very lovely story.

moonlake (author) from America on March 17, 2011:

Thank you, and thanks for stopping by.

Sharon Storm from Mid West on March 08, 2011:

Lovely story and yet so sad...

moonlake (author) from America on June 19, 2008:

Thank you and thanks for posting.

Clive Fagan from South Africa on June 19, 2008:

Interesting read about your wildlife and how things are changing

Good hub

moonlake (author) from America on June 18, 2008:

Thanks for posting. It is sad.

Dionne Obeso from Hollister, California on June 18, 2008:

Poor things... I remember catching Alligator Lizards when I was a kid.

moonlake (author) from America on June 16, 2008:

I could see fire ants doing that. Horny toads are easy going and easy to catch so no problem for a fire ant.

Thanks for posting a comment.

moefry47 from Texas on June 15, 2008:

I remember playing with horny toads all the time here in Texas, back in the 60's.

Now they are gone. I was told the fire ants killed em off. You know fire ants are not native to our country. Or at least thats what I'm told. Damn fire ants.

moonlake (author) from America on June 14, 2008:

Thanks for stopping by.

oberbreckling on June 14, 2008:

wow moonlake I just thought the phrase horny toad was just that a phrase the only thing coming out of toads around here growing up was pee lol Any good to eat so there on the list ok see ya in the future moonlake good one~cool`cya