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Mojave River Valley Museum
LizardsLizards are reptiles of the order Squamata, closely related to snakes. They are cold-blooded, relatively long-bodied with usually two pairs of legs and a tapering tail. They also have external ear openings and movable eyelids. Desert species range in adult length from 6-10 centimeters to nearly a meter (chuckwalla).
Areas of rocks and boulders on alluvial fans and in canyons; throughout Death Valley up to 5000 ft.
Rocky outcrops, rocky canyons, rocky slopes, and alluvial fans (special concern)
Mojave Fringe-toed lizardUma scoparia
Ibex Dunes; may dive into loose sand when frightened.
Wind-blown sand of dry lake beds, washes, and sand dunes (special concern)
Desert iguanaDipsosaurus dorsalis dorsalis
In hummocks of mesquite and creosote bush in areas of fine, sandy soil; up to 3000 feet; very heat tolerant.
Most common on sandy flats, dunes, and washes but also along rocky washes and on alluvial fans (common)
Zebra-tailed lizardCallisaurus draconides
Open areas in desert; near dunes and washes; on roads in morning; runs at great speeed with tail curved forward.
Open areas of sandy and gravelly desert flats, sandy washes, and alluvial fans (common)
Black Collared lizardCrotaphytus bicinctores
Areas of boulders for basking and open areas for hunting; from 1000 to 5000 feet.
Rocky slopes, rock outcrops of gullies, and boulder-strewn alluvial fans (common)
Long-nosed Leopard lizardGambelia wislizenii wislizenii
Valley floor to 3600 feet on alluvial fans, in canyons and washes with scattered vegetation.
Open sandy or gravelly flats and plains; less commonly in rocky areas (common)
Desert Spiny lizardSceloporus magister magister
Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard
Sceloporus magister uniformis
Rocky slopes and canyons around vegetation from 3500 to 7000 feet; a good climber.
Most abundant in the Joshua tree woodland; Occasionally on rock outcrops (common)
Whiptail lizardCnemidophorus tigris tigris
Great Basin Whiptail Lizard
Aspidoscelis tigris tigris
Sandy areas with sparce vegetation; rocky areas of upper washes; from below sea level to 5000 feet.
Most common in areas where vegetation is densest (common)
Side-blotched lizardUta stansburiana
Desert Side-blotched lizard
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri
Most commonly seen lizard in park; throughout park below 5000 feet in gravelly areas; active on warm days all year. Open, sunny ground Usually some rocks and loose soil are present (common)
Horned lizardPhrynosoma platyrhinos
Southern Desert Horned Lizard
Phrynosoma platyrhinos calidiarum
Sandy flats and canyon bottoms (common)
Western Banded geckoColeonyx variegatus variegatus
Nocturnal; rocky areas, creosote bush flats; valley floor to 3500 feet.
Most common in sandy flats; occasional in canyons and rocky areas (common)
Western Fence lizardSceloporus occidentalis
The western fence lizard is probably California's most common reptile. This adaptable lizard is found throughout California except in true desert, where it is restricted to riparian and high mountain locations. Elevation sea level to 3250 m (10,000 ft)
Also see: Related Pages
Desert Horned Lizard
Mojave Fringe-toed Lizard
Long-nosed Leopard Lizard