Horned toad lizards are actually not toads at all. The proper common name is short-horned lizard (scientific name: Phrynosoma hernandesi). The term "horned hoad" lizard may commonly be used to refer to any of the 14 species included in the Phrynosoma genus. These lizards are notoriously difficult to care for in captivity, and thus often have stunted life expectancies when owned by the inexperienced.
The Mystery of the Horned Toad Lizard's Life Span
A life span of at least five years has been documented for the horned toad in its natural habitat, and there is one instance where a horned toad lizard is known to have lived eight years, which is regarded to be a long life. Their actual life span in the wild, however, is still unconfirmed. Even with experienced owners, these lizards only average a five-year life span in captivity.