Texans refer to the Texas Horned Lizard as the Horned Frog. It is not a frog, but it is a lizard.
Its range includes Arizona, New Mexico, Mexico, all of Texas and Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The lizard was introduced in North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
They mostly eat harvester ants, but also eat other small insects. There has been a decline in their population because of the invasion of fire ants in their territory and pesticides. Both of them are killing off the harvester ant population, thereby lowering the source of food for the lizard.
The Texas Horned Lizard is a nationally protected species, making it a crime to capture, possess, transport, sell, and hunt them without a special license.
When threatened, it will puff up to stick its horned body out. This makes it difficult for predators to try and chew, bite, or swallow the lizard. If this does not scare the predator, it will shoot a stream of blood out of its eye. The lizard is incredibly accurate with this defense and can shoot up to five feet.
The Texas Horned Lizard is the state reptile of Texas, the mascot of Texas Christian University, and is seen as sacred by some Native American tribes in the American Southwest. Students, faculty, fans, etc. of Texas Christian University are also referred to as Horned Frogs.
1. Wow! That horned frog just shot blood out of its eye!
2. Joel left Indiana to go to school at Texas Christian and he's proud to call himself a Horned Frog.