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What kind of eggs are these?

Found about a dozen eggs, (small about 1/2 inch or smaller) while cleaning out a clay pot that had a dead plant. Digging in the soil to remove roots, my hand tool came up with a few eggs, more scoops brought up more eggs. Some were firm, a few were soft, I put the eggs back after I finished removeing the roots. Just want to know what they are. They look speckeled, but I think that is more dirt than speckels. We have seen a few tiny lizards lately, so I suspect they are lizard eggs.

Sandra, Santa Barbara - July 20, 2022

Curator Response

Hi Sandra,

Interesting, thanks for sharing these. We have a couple of species in this region that these could be: either Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) or Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana). Western Fence Lizards lay a clutch of 3–17 eggs and they prefer damp, well-aerated soil. Looks like they lay eggs starting in March and they take 10 weeks to develop. Side-blotched like sandy soils, but only lay 2–5 eggs, so the clutch size in this photo leans toward the Western Fence Lizard.

Another common lizard here, the Southern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata) prefers rocky crevices or rodent burrows, so I think we can safely presume this was not good habitat for their eggs.

Stay curious,

Curator of Vertebrate Zoology Krista Fahy, Ph.D.