What Lizards Are Not Poisonous? Which Lizard Is Poisonous?

No doubt, most of the animals belonging to the reptile family are dangerous. Aside from the likes of scorpions, and snakes, other species like the lizard are quite venomous to the human race. This is likely to come off as a surprise considering the solitary nature of lizards, and their preference for a quiet life.

However, just like the crocodiles and snakes with powerful stings, some types of lizards are considered dangerous. In essence, they possess some stings in form of venoms that are both harmful and unhealthy for man.

In this article, we will be looking into the types of venomous lizards, and their possible effect on man.

But first, what is venom?

Venom refers to toxic substances secreted by animals as a defense mechanism or to catch prey. Whichever the reason for the release of venom, it is usually toxic and harmful to the body. Unlike other venomous animals that use their fangs, lizards release venom either through stinging or biting their prey.

Once this is released into the body, it causes an instant reaction and may result in severe damage to the body system if not properly treated.

Types of Venom Lizards Produce

Venom refers to toxic substances secreted by animals as a defense mechanism or to catch prey. Whichever the reason for the release of venom, it is usually toxic and harmful to the body. Unlike other venomous animals that use their fangs, lizards release venom either through stinging or biting their prey.

Once this is released into the body, it causes an instant reaction and may result in severe damage to the body system if not properly treated.

Lizards produce 4 different types of venom in the body that may be responsible for disruption of the normal body functions.

1. Neurotoxic

Just like the name implies, neurotoxic venoms are responsible for the shutdown of the victim’s nervous system.

2. Myotoxic

When released, Myotoxic venoms can easily destroy the muscle tissue.

3. Hemotoxic

As regards clotting, this venom is responsible for interfering with blood clotting.

4. Cytotoxic

Also called neurotoxic venom, this category of venom is more lethal as they cause cell death in the body.

Now that you know how venoms operate and their toxic activities in the body, you might be wondering what lizard is venomous and which is not.

Which Lizard Is Not Venomous?

Here are 10 types of lizards that are not venomous:

  1. Green Iguana
  2. Marine Iguana
  3. Leopard gecko
  4. Common house gecko
  5. Rhinoceros iguana
  6. Lace monitor
  7. Mediterranean house gecko
  8. Eastern grass lizard
  9. Moorish gecko
  10. Blue Iguana
Which Lizard Is Not Venomous? Which Lizard is Most Venomous?

A vast majority of lizards are not venomous, with just a few exceptions. While some release venoms enough to restrict blood clotting, others can pass as a reaction or tingling in the body. Most times, the venoms released by lizards are not as hurtful as it seems.

Naturally, venoms are weapons used against predators or prey or even both. Lucky enough, we are not the main predators of lizards neither are we the prey. In other words, it usually takes an accident for the venom to touch us.

However, some species of lizards are more venomous than others. Let’s discuss that in detail.

Which Lizard Is Venomous?

Here is a list of venomous lizards to avoid; the Gila monster, the Komodo dragon, and the beaded lizard of Mexican origin.

As we already know, not all species of lizard have secret venom. Only a little percentage of lizards produce harmful substances in the body.

A study on the venomous nature of lizards shows that nearly all lizards have in-born venoms. However, these venoms are considerably weak, and primitive and can only harm tiny animals.

Gila Monster

The Gila monster is one of the most popular species of lizard on earth. Native to northwestern Mexico and other southwestern United States, the Gila monster measures about 20-24 inches. This species is quite fascinating to watch; slow, and fat orange and black colored body covered with bead-like scales.

Notwithstanding their tiny nature, these animals can easily dispense venom to predators or prey of free will. To achieve this, they use advanced salivary glands to produce venoms in the body. Interestingly, their short, sharp teeth are responsible for the quick and easy release of venoms.

Once they come in contact with prey, they sort of bite and slightly chew on the skin of the animal. This way, their teeth are further inserted into the system which in turn enhances the release of neurotoxic venoms. However, the venom released by the Gila monster is likely not to cause serious damaging effects on the body system of an adult man.

Komodo Dragon

The Komodo dragon is one of the largest and most venomous lizards in the world. As expected, they weigh about 120 pounds, with an enormous nose-to-tail length of 10 inches.

Over the years, researchers made everyone believe that Komodo dragons were not among the venomous species. Instead, it was believed they contained some dirty, sticky-like bacteria saliva.

However, recent studies have shown that these species are quite venomous with a generous amount of toxic proteins. In essence, these toxic proteins restrict blood clotting and stimulate muscle paralysis in the affected animals.

They are better not provoked as they possess aggressive traits and are likely to release venoms. Lucky enough, they are preferred to live solitary lives, and hardly come in contact with humans. This decreases the possibility of attacks.

Beaded Lizard

The beaded lizards are closely related to the Gila monster. In other words, they are similar in size but the beaded lizards are considerably larger reaching about 3 feet. Also, they are as dangerous as the Gila monsters, especially to tiny insects and animals.

Although their hemotoxic venom may have little or no effect on humans, it is always advisable to receive immediate medical treatment. Research shows that their hemotoxic venom may result in severe respiratory problems and restriction in blood clotting levels if not properly treated.

How Does a Lizard Insert Venom?

Due to their solitary lifestyle, lizards don’t bite unless they are either provoked or touched. Lizard bites are quite painful, and they bite by inserting their teeth into their victim’s body. Although bites are painful, the crushing of the skin is much more painful.

Once they attack, they grind their jaw making it easy for the venom to seep deep into your skin. With their sharp teeth and powerful jaw, they grip their prey and proceed to bite deeply thereby creating a wound.

Symptoms of a Venomous Bite

These symptoms are important as they help you identify which lizard bite is venomous or not as well as take immediate medical action;

  • Pain
  • Discoloration of the affected area
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes
  • Sweating
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Headache

What Are the Effects of Lizard Venom?

Here are the effects associated with lizard venom:

  • Pain
  • Respiratory problems
  • Restriction in blood clotting levels
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Are House Lizards Venomous?

No, house lizards are not venomous and pose no threat to humans. One such is the house gecko native to south and Southeast Asia. This house gecko is also commonly called Asian house gecko, wall gecko, or house lizard and they are the least harmful lizards you will come across.

The wall lizards are nocturnal, spending their day in hiding places and roaming around the environment at night for food and small crumbs. They possess neither the time nor the capacity to attack humans. However, they can easily attack tiny insects and prey that come their way.

Conclusion:

As we already know, all lizards have in-born venoms in their body system but not all secret venoms when they bite. A vast majority of lizards are not venomous and are considered harmless to an extent. On the other hand, a few exceptions like the Gila monster, Komodo dragon, and beaded lizard are venomous and secret toxic substances in the body.

They bite with their teeth, cutting deeply while crushing some flesh in the process. Although the bites are painful, the crushed flesh is more hurtful and would need immediate medical attention. Failure to do this is likely to result in reduced blood levels, diarrhea, restriction in blood clotting levels, and death.    

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