Northern Fence Lizard Diet

The northern fence lizard eats insects primarily.
The northern fence lizard eats insects primarily. (Image: lizard 3 image by Michael Bronza from

The northern fence lizard is a primarily insectivorous, small-sized lizard that is native to the Northeastern United States. In some areas, such as New York, it is a threatened species. In other areas of the country it is abundant and not threatened. The northern fence lizard, sometimes referred to as the eastern fence lizard, eats arthropods, a family of animals that includes insects, arachnids, millipedes and wasps.

Diet in the Wild

In the wild, the northern fence lizard eats primarily arthropods, including spiders, insects, centipedes, millipedes, moths, butterflies, ants and snails, but also smaller lizards on occasion.

Diet in Captivity

In captivity, northern fence lizards are primarily fed crickets, but can also be fed other common feeder insects and worms such as mealworms, silk worms, butter worms or roaches.

Hunting Prey

According to the Discover Life in America website, the northern fence lizard "sits and waits" for its food to come close to it, and then it strikes. Fence lizards are diurnal, and hunt their prey during the day.


In captivity, the northern fence lizard's diet is not as varied or abundant as in the wild and it does not receive adequate nutrition from feeder insects such as crickets alone. They should be provided with a vitamin D3 and calcium supplement during every feeding by dusting feeder insects with the supplement.


The northern fence lizard is found in a wide variety of habitats, increasing the amounts of prey it can hunt. These habitats include tree trunks, leaf litter, rock crevices and rotting logs. The smaller arthropods that are found in these areas comprise most of the northern fence lizard's diet.

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