Scientists Comb Countryside for Lizard Species

SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ Missing: a spot-tailed earless lizard.

The 6-inch reptiles used to be all over South Texas, but biologists have failed in recent years to find many of the critters that once crawled the dusty wide-open landscape from San Angelo to Laredo.

Nature Conservancy zoologist Mike Duran says they’ve looked and just haven’t found them.

The non-profit and several Texas universities have set up a lizard hunt this spring, and they’re looking for help.

Scientists from Texas State University, Texas A&M University, the University of Texas and Angelo State University are among the search party.

They’re hoping to recruit ranchers, farmers and hikers to keep their eyes peeled for the lizard and report back so the group can submit a report to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in November.

The spot-tailed earless lizard carries spots on its tail and back. It also has spots on the underside of its tail, unlike some other similar looking species.