Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research - Conservation - Preservation - Education - Public Information - Research - Field Studies - Captive Propagation - Advancing knowledge and understanding of the herpetofauna of the American Southwest


   Below is a current list of the 169 species and subspecies of lizards that occur in the region that we have defined as
   being the American Southwest. Six (6) of these are introduced species.
Our goal is to eventually provide one or more photographs for every species/subspecies. We also plan to eventually provide habitat photographs and range maps for as many species as possible along with the legal/protective status of each in the states where they occur within our region.

To help maintain some degree of taxonomic stability and reduce confusion, we here at the Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research (SWCHR) have elected to take a conservative taxonomic approach when deciding which scientific and common names to utilize in this species listing. Please click here for an explanation of our philosophy regarding taxonomic issues. In cases where we feel that the current taxonomy of a species/subspecies is either controversial, or if we for any reason elected not to follow either Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and reptiles of North America North of Mexico with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, 6th Edition, 2008 by Brian I. Crother, et al or Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, 7th Edition (2009) by Joseph T. Collins and Travis W. Taggart, we have linked a taxonomic note to the listing which explains our reasoning.

Those species and subspecies that have photos available are identified as clickable links on the list below. If you have quality images that you have taken of species/subspecies that do not yet have photos, you are encouraged to submit them for possible inclusion.

Banded Gila Monster - Heloderma suspectum cinctum
Banded Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum cinctum)
Photo by Will Wells

ANGUIDAE (Glass Lizards and Alligator Lizards)

San Francisco Alligator Lizard - Elgaria coerulea coerulea

Sierra Alligator Lizard - Elgaria coerulea palmeri

Shasta Alligator Lizard - Elgaria coerulea shastensis

Arizona Alligator Lizard - Elgaria kingii nobilis

California Alligator Lizard - Elgaria multicarinata multicarinata

Oregon Alligator Lizard - Elgaria multicarinata scinicauda

San Diego Alligator Lizard - Elgaria multicarinata webbii

Panamint Alligator Lizard - Elgaria panamintina

Texas Alligator Lizard - Gerrhonotus infernalis

Western Slender Glass Lizard - Ophisaurus attenuatus attenuatus

ANNIELLIDAE (Legless Lizards)

California Legless Lizard - Anniella pulchra

CROTAPHYTIDAE (Collared Lizards and Leopard Lizards)

Great Basin Collared Lizard - Crotaphytus bicinctores

Eastern Collared Lizard - Crotaphytus collaris

Sonoran Collared Lizard - Crotaphytus nebrius

Reticulate Collared Lizard - Crotaphytus reticulatus

Baja California Collared Lizard - Crotaphytus vestigium

Cope's Leopard Lizard - Gambella copeii

Blunt-nosed Leopard Lizard - Gambella sila

Long-nosed Leopard Lizard - Gambella wislizenii


Texas Banded Gecko - Coleonyx brevis

Reticulated Gecko - Coleonyx reticulatus

Peninsular Banded Gecko - Coleonyx switaki switaki

Desert Banded Gecko - Coleonyx variegatus variegatus

San Diego Banded Gecko - Coleonyx variegatus abbotti

Tucson Banded Gecko - Coleonyx variegatus bogerti

Utah Banded Gecko - Coleonyx variegatus utahensis

Rough-tailed Gecko - Cyrtopodion scabrum  (Introduced Species)

Common House Gecko - Hemidactylus frenatus  (Introduced Species)

Indo-Pacific House Gecko - Hemidactylus garnotii  (Introduced Species)

Mediterranean Gecko - Hemidactylus turcicus  (Introduced Species)

Peninsular Leaf-toed Gecko - Phyllodactylus nocticolus


Reticulate Gila Monster - Heloderma suspectum suspectum

Banded Gila Monster - Heloderma suspectum cinctum

IGUANIDAE (Iguanas and Chuckwallas)

Mexican Spiny-tailed Iguana - Ctenosaura pectinata  (Introduced Species)

Northern Desert Iguana - Dipsosaurus dorsalis dorsalis

Chuckwalla - Sauromalus ater


Northern Zebra-tailed Lizard - Callisaurus draconoides myurus

Western Zebra-tailed Lizard - Callisaurus draconoides rhodostictus

Eastern Zebra-tailed Lizard - Callisaurus draconoides ventralis

Texas Greater Earless Lizard - Cophosaurus texanus texanus

Southwestern Earless Lizard - Cophosaurus texanus scitulus

Elegant Earless Lizard - Holbrookia elegans thermophila

Northern Spot-tailed Earless Lizard - Holbrookia lacerata lacerata

Southern Spot-tailed Earless Lizard - Holbrookia lacerata subcaudalis

Great Plains Earless Lizard - Holbrookia maculata maculata

Bunker's Earless Lizard - Holbrookia maculata bunkeri

Speckled Earless Lizard - Holbrookia maculata approximans

Prairie Earless Lizard - Holbrookia maculata perspicua

Huachuca Earless Lizard - Holbrookia maculata pulchra

Bleached Earless Lizard - Holbrookia maculata ruthveni

Northern Keeled Earless Lizard - Holbrookia propinqua propinquq

Mearn's Rock Lizard - Petrosaurus mearnsi mearnsi

Texas Horned Lizard - Phrynosoma cornutum

Blainville's Horned Lizard - Phrynosoma blainvillii

Pygmy Short-horned Lizard - Phrynosoma douglasii

Goode's Horned Lizard - Phrynosoma goodei

Hernandez's Short-horned Lizard - Phrynosoma hernandesi hernandesi

Flat-tailed Horned Lizard - Phrynosoma mcallii

Round-tailed Horned Lizard - Phrynosoma modestum

Northern Desert Horned Lizard - Phrynosoma platyrhinos platyrhinos

Southern Desert Horned Lizard - Phrynosoma platyrhinos calidiarum

Regal Horned Lizard - Phrynosoma solare

Dunes Sagebrush Lizard - Sceloporus arenicolus

Sonoran Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus clarkii clarkii

Plateau Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus clarkii vallaris

Prairie Lizard - Sceloporus consobrinus

Southwestern Fence Lizard - Sceloporus cowlesi

Blue Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus cyanogenys

Northern Sagebrush Lizard - Sceloporus graciosus graciosus

Western Sagebrush Lizard - Sceloporus graciosus gracilis

Southern Sagebrush Lizard - Sceloporus graciosus vandenburgians

Mesquite Lizard - Sceloporus grammicus microlepidotus

Yarrow's Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus jarrovii

Purple-backed Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus magister magister

Orange-headed Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus magister cephaloflavus

Merriam's Canyon Lizard - Sceloporus merriami merriami

Big Bend Canyon Lizard - Sceloporus merriami annulatus

Presidio Canyon Lizard - Sceloporus merriami longipunctatus

Northwestern Fence Lizard - Sceloporus occidentalis occidentalis

Island Fence Lizard - Sceloporus occidentalis becki

San Joaquin Fence Lizard - Sceloporus occidentalis biseriatus

Coast Range Fence Lizard - Sceloporus occidentalis bocourtii

Great Basin Fence Lizard - Sceloporus occidentalis longipes

Sierra Fence Lizard - Sceloporus occidentalis taylori

Texas Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus olivaceus

Granite Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus orcutti

New Mexico Crevice Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus poinsettii poinsettii

Texas Crevice Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus poinsettii axtelli

Slevin's Bunch Grass Lizard - Sceloporus slevini

Plateau Fence Lizard - Sceloporus tristichus

Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus uniformis

Texas Rose-bellied Lizard - Sceloporus variabilis marmoratus

Striped Plateau Lizard - Sceloporus virgatus

Coachella Valley Fringe-toed Lizard - Uma inornata

Colorado Desert Fringe-toed Lizard - Uma notata

Yuman Fringe-toed Lizard - Uma rufopunctata

Mohave Fringe-toed Lizard - Uma scoparia

Western Long-tailed Brush Lizard - Urosaurus graciosus graciosus

Arizona Long-tailed Brush Lizard - Urosaurus graciosus shannoni

Texas Tree Lizard - Urosaurus ornatus ornatus

Smooth Tree Lizard - Urosaurus ornatus levis

Big Bend Tree Lizard - Urosaurus ornatus schmidti

Schott's Tree Lizard - Urosaurus ornatus schottii

Colorado River Tree Lizard - Urosaurus ornatus symmetricus

Northern Tree Lizard - Urosaurus ornatus wrighti

Northern Side-blotched Lizard - Uta stansburiana stansburiana

Western Side-blotched Lizard - Uta stansburiana elegans

Nevada Side-blotched Lizard - Uta stansburiana nevadensis

Eastern Side-blotched Lizard - Uta stansburiana steinegeri

Plateau Side-blotched Lizard - Uta stansburiana uniformis


Northern Green Anole - Anolis carolinensis carolinensis

Brown Anole - Anolis sagrei  (Introduced Species)


Southern Coal Skink - Plestiodon anthracinus pluvialis

Mountain Skink - Plestiodon callicephalus

Common Five-lined Skink - Plestiodon fasciatus

Arizona Skink - Plestiodon gilberti arizonensis

Variegated Skink - Plestiodon gilberti cancellosus

Greater Brown Skink - Plestiodon gilberti gilberti

Northern Brown Skink - Plestiodon gilberti placerensis

Western Red-tailed Skink - Plestiodon gilberti rubicaudatus

Broad-headed Skink - Plestiodon laticeps

Variable Skink - Plestiodon multivirgatus epipleurotus

Great Plains Skink - Plestiodon obsoletus

Southern Prairie Skink - Plestiodon septentrionalis obtusirostris

Coronado Skink - Plestiodon skiltonianus interparietalis

Skilton's Skink - Plestiodon skiltonianus skiltonianus

Great Basin Skink - Plestiodon skiltonianus utahensis

Short-lined Skink - Plestiodon tetragrammus brevilineatus

Four-lined Skink - Plestiodon tetragrammus tetragrammus

Ground Skink - Scincella lateralis

TEIIDAE (Racerunners and Whiptail Lizards)

Arizona Striped Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis arizonae

Gaint Spotted Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis burti stictogrammus

Gray Checkered Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis dixoni

Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis exsanguis

Gila Spotted Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis flagellicauda

Texas Spotted Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis gularis gularis

Little White Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis gypsi

Orange-throated Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis hyperythra beldingi

Trans-Pecos Striped Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis inornata heptagrammus

Woodland Striped Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis inornata junipera

Plains Striped Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis inornata llanuras

Laredo Striped Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis laredoensis

Western Marbled Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis marmorata marmorata

Eastern Marbled Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis marmorata reticuloriens

New Mexico Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis neomexicana

Colorado Checkered Colorado Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis neotesselata

Pai Striped Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis pai

Big Bend Spotted Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis scalaris septemvittata

Texas Yellow-headed Racerunner - Aspidoscelis sexlineata stephensae

Prairie Racerunner - Aspidoscelis sexlineata viridis

Sonoran Spotted Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis sonorae

Common Checkered Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis tesselata

Great Basin Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis tigris tigris

California Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis tigris munda

Sonoran Tiger Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis tigris punctilinealis

Plateau Tiger Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis tigris septentrionalis

Coastal Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis tigris stejnegeri

Desert Grassland Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis uniparens

Plateau Striped Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis velox

Red-backed Whiptail Lizard - Aspidoscelis xanthonota

XANTUSIIDAE (Night Lizards)

Arizona Night Lizard - Xantusia arizonae

Bezy's Night Lizard - Xantusia bezyi

Sandstone Night Lizard - Xantusia gracilis

Granite Night Lizard - Xantusia henshawi

San Nicolas Night Lizard - Xantusia riversiana riversiana

San Clemente Night Lizard - Xantusia riversiana reticulata

Desert Night Lizard - Xantusia vigilis

Sierra Night Lizard - Xantusia sierrae

Wiggins' Night Lizard - Xantusia wigginsi

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