Beaded lizards, like many other animals, get their name from their appearance. Their skin is covered in small, bumpy scales called “osteoderms” that look like- you guessed it- beads!
Beaded lizards are one of the only lizards to possess venom glands. These glands are actually modified salivary glands, and are located in their lower jaw. Each gland has a separate duct leading to the base of the beaded lizard’s grooved teeth. This means beaded lizards can’t “inject” their venom through a fang, the way a spider or snake might. Instead, they have to chew their venom into their prey!
Although human deaths caused by these lizards are rare, their venom can cause respiratory failure. There is no anti-venom for their bite.