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For the monster class, see Lizard (monster class).

A lizard, :, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is a tiny carnivorous animal that is the namesake monster of the lizard monster class.

A lizard has a single bite attack and possesses stoning resistance.

Eating a lizard's corpse or tin immediately cures gradual stoning and reduces the duration of any confusion and stunning to two turns.[1][2] Monsters can use lizard corpses as defensive items, and will eat lizard meat to cure stoning, stunning and/or confusion[3] - monsters with a tin of lizard meat have a 23 chance of opening it.[4] A monster with intrinsic speed loses the intrinsic if it eats a lizard corpse.[5][6]

Lizard corpses do not rot away or become tainted from aging, though they can become too old for sacrifice. A character carrying a lizard corpse in open inventory will not be immediately subjected to gradual stoning by the hiss of a cockatrice or chickatrice during the new moon.[7]

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Lizard meat grants temporary stoning resistance, as does the meat of all stoning-resistant monsters. Lizard corpses no longer protect from the effects of the new moon.


Randomly generated lizards are always created hostile.

Lizards always leave a corpse upon death unless they are killed via disintegration or digestion.


As an enemy, the lizard is fairly unremarkable in terms of difficulty, but represents an opportunity to gain protection from one of the more annoying instadeaths in NetHack: Most players carry at least one lizard corpse in inventory, both to lower the odds of slowly turning to stone from footrice attacks and to immediately cure any stoning, making them a very common autopickup exception. Lizards themselves are easy to dispatch of, with the most difficulty a majority of characters will encounter involving preventing a meat-eating pet from immediately snapping up the corpse.

Note that finishing the meal is not required to prevent gradual stoning, as simply taking a bite is enough: This allows a character to get at least two or three "unstonings" per corpse, especially since a hostile monster (often the one attempting to stone them) will often interrupt the meal. Note that lizard meat does not prevent instantaneously turning to stone from contact with a stoning corpse (e.g. accidentally eating or touching a cockatrice corpse); lizard meat also does not restore any intrinsic speed lost from turning to stone.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Hostile monsters will zap the wand of undead turning at you if there are any corpses in your inventory; this is most likely to occur with lizard corpses you are carrying.


Both the lizard and lizard corpses appear in Hack 1.21, which is based on Jay Fenlason's Hack - in this version, the corpses are known as dead lizards, and are simply normal food items. Lizard corpses appear in the initial item list for Hack 1.0, though lizards do not appear as monsters for several versions.

From Hack 1.0 to Hack 1.0.2, stoning by cockatrice hissing is an instadeath, and lizard corpses reduce the duration of confusion instead. Hack 1.0.3 introduces gradual stoning and gives lizard corpses their additional anti-stoning functions. NetHack 3.0.6 're-introduces' the lizard as a monster, meaning that their corpses are no longer distinct items.


You feel limber!
You ate a lizard corpse and cured stoning.
What a pity - <you> just ruined a future piece of <fine> art!
As above while you are hallucinating; if your charisma is above 15, the message will say "fine art", and just "art" otherwise.[8] This also applies to monsters that eat a lizard corpse or tin to cure stoning while you are hallucinating.[9]
<Monster> is slowing down. <Monster> eats a lizard corpse. <Monster> seems limber!
A monster ate a lizard corpse to cure stoning.
<Monster> is slowing down. <Monster> eats a lizard corpse. <Monster> seems steadier now.
The monster ate a lizard corpse to cure stunning or confusion.[10] The "slowing down" message appears incorrectly in this case because the "eat a lizard corpse to unstone" function is called, causing them to lose any intrinsic speed.
You hear chewing.
As above in either case, but you cannot see the monster.



In SLASH'EM, vampire characters will find lizard corpses much harder to utilize, as they cannot drain corpses more than a few turns old. It is still worth carrying one for the protection they provide on the new moon, but a vampire will instead need to rely on a potion of acid, the stone to flesh spell or an amulet versus stone.


In SporkHack, other hostile monsters will grudge any lizards they see, attacking and killing them so they can pick up their corpses.


In UnNetHack, vampire characters face a similar dilemma to SLASH'EM, and should stock up on acid or use the stone to flesh spell.


In dNetHack, notdNetHack and notnotdNetHack, characters can make potions of monster blood by applying a tinning kit to a corpse with blood, which has the effects of eating that monster's corpse or tin when quaffed. The corpses, tins and blood of cave lizards and their various growth stages provide the same benefits as those of "regular" lizards, though their corpses eventually rot away unlike normal lizard corpses and potions of blood eventually congeal - the corpses are also much heavier to carry.

Characters that are vampires, incantifiers or androids ('clockwork' Anachrononauts) can stockpile the blood of lizards or any acidic monster to cure stoning in the mid- and late game. A lizard's corpse or blood is practically essential for any character to protect against not only stoning from cockatrices, but the flesh to stone monster spell and the clawing attack of the teraphim tannah.

TNNT (the game)

In TNNT (the game), the DevTeam Office has a 15 chance of generating a peaceful lizard named the Lizard of Yendor at level creation.

Encyclopedia entry

Lizards, snakes and the burrowing amphisbaenids make up the
order Squamata, meaning the scaly ones. The elongate, slim,
long-tailed bodies of lizards have become modified to enable
them to live in a wide range of habitats. Lizards can be
expert burrowers, runners, swimmers and climbers, and a few
can manage crude, short-distance gliding on rib-supported
"wings". Most are carnivores, feeding on invertebrate and
small vertebrate prey, but others feed on vegetation.

[ Macmillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia ]