A venomous success story for Paignton Zoo

Paignton Zoo have successfully bred two Mexican venomous beaded lizards, for the first time.

Shown in the picture below is the moment one of the beaded lizards first took a glimpse of his new home.

Beaded lizards found in Mexico

This CITES protected lizard (Heloderma horridudm) is a venomous species more commonly found in Mexico and southern Guatemala.

Heloderma, means “studded skin”, and with its dramatic black and yellow beaded skin it is very easy to spot.

Although venomous it is unclear as to why the species needs the venom at all.

However inspection of the venom has revealed that it contains enzymes useful for manufacturing drugs to treat diabetes.

Luke Harding, Paignton Zoo’s Curator of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates said:

It’s a good to start 2019 with another breeding success. It’s testimony to the hard work of the Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates department and all the support and investment from the Zoo that we are having such great success with our breeding programmes. The commitment and expertise of the staff cannot be praised enough and all their hard work is paying off with fantastic results such as the hatching of these lizards. It is an exciting time to be part of a fantastic team of keepers at such a forward thinking organisation and I hope many more successes will come in 2019

36 inches in length

Adult beaded lizards can grow up to 91 centimetres (36 inches) in length.

Young beaded lizards are not always see in their early years, choosing to spend their time underground away from predators.

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