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59 Vibrant Lizards in Arizona

Arizona, with its sweeping landscapes ranging from deserts and forests to grasslands, mountains, and freshwater ecosystems, serves as the habitat for approximately 59 distinct species of lizards. This state, renowned for its diverse flora and fauna, stands among the most biodiverse regions in America.

Identifying lizards in Arizona involves a close examination of their appearance, behavior, and specific location. Certain species can bear a striking resemblance to each other, often requiring a discerning eye to notice the subtle differences. Knowing which lizards inhabit a particular region not only aids in their identification but also enhances your chances of spotting them in the wild.

Join us as we delve into the world of the 59 lizard species inhabiting Arizona. These reptiles play a crucial role in the ecosystem, serving as a food source for various carnivorous animals, from birds of prey to mammals. While lizards can indeed make interesting pets, it’s worth remembering their integral contributions to the natural habitats of Arizona.

Types of Lizards in Arizona

Phrynosomatidae

1. Western Long-tailed Brush Lizard

Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Urosaurus graciosus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 1.8 to 2.5 in. (4.7 to 6.6 cm)
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Western long-tailed brush lizards are native to Arizona and live in other regions in the southwestern United States. This species lives in desert, and riparian habitats up to 3,500 ft. above sea level. You can often see this lizard basking in the sun on vegetation, or looking for food.

The region where this lizard lives, and its long tail is how you can distinguish this species from other similar lizards. Western long-tailed brush lizards have a tan, or cream coloring, with a mottled pattern covering them. Their appearance helps them blend into trees and wooden habitats.

Western long-tailed brush lizards are specialized in living in desert brush plants, but they sometimes are seen foraging for food on the ground. Invertebrates and plant material are what this lizard survives on. They sleep in burrows at night to rest and can be active during the day since they are extremely heat tolerant. This lizard is only found in the western border region of the state near California, and Nevada.

2. Ornate Tree Lizard

Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)
Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Urosaurus ornatus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.3 in. (5.84 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Arizona is where the ornate tree lizard lives, and they are native to the southwestern United States. This species can be found across the state’s low desert habitats. This lizard is active throughout the year, except for the coldest months in winter. They are an arboreal species and enjoy climbing, even on rocks.

Ornate tree lizards come in a variety of shades, and most of these lizards have different colors on them. The species has a ground-like color on its back, with spots, crossbars, and blotched patterns on them. They have roughly keeled scales on their tail. Males have blue coloring on their undersides, sometimes orange under their chin, which helps them attract mates.

This lizard species feeds mainly on insects and their larvae, but also eats plant foods. They have patterns on them that help them blend into their terrain, and hide from predators like birds, cats, and coyotes.

3. Common Side-blotched Lizard

Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Uta stansburiana
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 1.5 to 2.5 in. (3.8 to 6.35 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $12

Common side-blotched lizards are native to Arizona and are found in other parts of the western United States, and in Mexico. Desert and shrubland habitats are where this lizard is common. In the morning this lizard basks in the sun to warm itself up, and this species has its peak activity in the afternoon.

The lizard gets its name from the black mark that appears on its side. They are smaller in size, with males having brighter colors. Common side-blotched lizards have tannish or gray coloring, with blotches and stripes covering them.

Insects, spiders, and scorpions are some of the foods that this lizard eats. This lizard is sometimes aggressive with other species in the area, as they compete for food and territory. If approached by predators, running, and hiding are their common defenses.

4. Clark’s Spiny Lizard

Clark’s Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus clarkii)
Clark’s Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus clarkii)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Sceloporus clarkii
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.4 to 5.4 in. (6.3 to 13.8 cm)
  • Lifespan: Average Price Range: n/a

The Clark’s spiny lizard is a species found in Arizona, living in woodland, and riparian habitats. This species enjoys climbing in trees, and rocky surfaces. They are also found in other nearby regions like New Mexico, and the country of Mexico.

This lizard is very similar to other spiny lizards in the region, and typically DNA is required to tell species apart. This lizard has grayish, to tan coloring, with bands, and a mottled pattern covering them. Rocky terrain and desert regions are where they blend in best.

Clarks lizards are very similar to other spiny lizards in Arizona and feed on small invertebrates like them. They have a stable population and are listed as a species of “least concern” by the IUCN Red List.

5. Desert Spiny Lizard

Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister)
Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Sceloporus magister
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size:  2.4 to 5.4 in. (6.3 to 13.8 cm)
  • Lifespan: 2 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

The desert spiny lizard is a species native to the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts in Arizona. This lizard is found in southwestern Arizona, living at sea levels up to 5,000 ft. Desert spiny lizards are active during the day and will bask in the sun to warm up their temperature. At night, or in the hottest period of the day this species will go in its burrow, or in vegetation.

Desert spiny lizards have roughly keeled scales and yellowish, or tan coloring. This species has blueish markings on its belly and under its chin. In order to gain more heat, this species will change its shade to be darker to attract more light.

This lizard feeds on invertebrates like insects and spiders. Desert spiny lizards are arboreal and live in desert plants like Joshua trees, cottonwood, and yucca. They are common in Arizona and have a stable population.

6. Plateau Fence Lizard

Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Sceloporus tristichus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 3.1 in. (6.3 to 7.8 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 5 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

The plateau fence lizard lives in central Arizona. This species is also found in other states like Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. The plateau fence lizards live in woodlands and rocky canyon habitats. They are seen most of the year but are not active in the coldest parts of winter, and the blistering heat of summer.

Plateau fence lizards have gray, brown, or greenish coloring. Their scales are very keeled, and there is a crossband pattern that appears on their body. Metallic blue coloring appears on the males of this species’ belly, and throat.

In urban areas walking on fences is commonplace this lizard is seen. They enjoy climbing but may be seen on the ground looking for food.  Fence lizards, like other lizards feed on small insects, spiders, and other similar invertebrates.

7. Sagebrush Lizard

Sagebrush Lizard
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Sceloporus graciosus
  • Other Names: Sagebrush Swift
  • Adult Size: 1.9 to 3.5 in. (4.7 to 8.9 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 5 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The sagebrush lizard is a species found in the western United States, including Arizona. Deserts, open woodlands, grasslands, and dunes are some habitats you may find this lizard in. Lizards of this species who live at higher elevations grow quicker but are active less.

Sagebrush lizards are smaller in size and have grey, brown, or greenish coloring. Their bodies are covered in spots, and band patterns. Their scales are roughly keeled, and their toes are long. Males have blue color on their undersides.

While most of this lizard’s time is spent on the ground, this species has the ability to climb to escape predators. Other lizards, birds, cats, and mammals are what feed on this lizard the most.

8. Slevin’s Bunchgrass Lizard

Slevin’s Bunchgrass Lizard (Sceloporus slevini)
Slevin’s Bunchgrass Lizard (Sceloporus slevini)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Sceloporus slevini
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 1.6 to 2.8 in. (4 to 7 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 5 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The Slevin’s bunchgrass lizard is a species native to North America. Habitats like grasslands, forests, and areas near rivers are where this lizard lives. Warm sunny days are when this species is active most. Near northern Mexico in the southwestern United States is where this species is native.

Slevins’s bunchgrass lizards are small, with tan, or grayish coloring. They are plain lizards but may have stripes on their side. The scales of this lizard are very keeled and overlap.

In some of the regions the Slevin’s bunchgrass lizard lives, this species is protected. They use grass as shelter, to avoid threats like birds. Grasshoppers, ants, wasps, and beetles are animals this lizard may feed on.

9. Southwestern Fence Lizard

Southwestern Fence Lizard on a rock
Southwestern Fence Lizard on a rock
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Sceloporus cowlesi
  • Other Names: White Sands Swift, Cowles’ Prairie Lizard
  • Adult Size: 3 to 8.4 in. (7.6 to 21.33 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 5 to 7 years 
  • Average Price Range: $20

The Chihuanan desert in North America is where the southwestern fence lizard lives, and it can be found in Arizona. This species lives in rocky, and wooded habitats, and even sometimes lives in urban areas. Active in the day, they enjoy basking on rocks to warm their bodies.

Smaller in size, this species has a grayish, to brown coloring. They have keeled scales with stripes running on the sides of their body. This species sometimes has blotches in between their stripes. Their bellies are plain, sometimes with a blotched pattern.

This lizard species feeds on small invertebrates, and are a sit-and-wait predator. Southwestern fence lizards hibernate in the winter. They mate in the spring and lay their eggs in the summer.

10. Striped Plateau Lizard

Striped Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus virgatus)
Striped Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus virgatus) by David Bygott
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Sceloporus virgatus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.8 to 7.5 in. (7.2 to 19.05 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 2 to 8 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The striped plateau lizard is a species found in savanna and forest habitats. This species is native to the southwestern United States and is one of many lizards living in Arizona. Striped plateau lizards are active in the daytime, and at night seek shelter to rest under.

The body of this lizard has stripes that are cream. Their bodies are tan, gray, or black. Their bodies are robust, and their legs are short. Striped plateau lizards may have spots, or blotches on them.

If spotted by a predator this species will run, but when hunting they sit, and wait for meals to pounce on. In some areas, this lizard has been listed as a protected species and relies on specific desert habitats to survive.

11. Twin-spotted Spiny Lizard

Twin-spotted Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus bimaculosus)
Twin-spotted Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus bimaculosus)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Sceloporus bimaculosus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 5 to 13 in. (12.7 to 33.02 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 2 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Twin-spotted spiny lizards can be found in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. This lizard lives in rocky desert landscapes. They hibernate in the cold months and are active during the day.

A larger lizard, this species has gray, or yellowish coloring. They have strong-keeled scales. Males can be territorial to other lizards and have a blueish marking on their necks.

Insects and arthropods are what this lizard eats. They are common to see climbing trees, fences, or desert vegetation. This lizard basks in the sun during the day to help warm up its body temperature.

12. Yarrow’s Spiny Lizard

Yarrow’s Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus jarrovii)
Yarrow’s Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus jarrovii)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Sceloporus jarrovii
  • Other Names: n/a 
  • Adult Size: 4.1 in. (10.5 cm)
  • Lifespan: 2 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The Yarrows spiny lizard is a species found in forests and rocky areas. They are found in North America in Mexico, and a small portion of the United States near Arizona and New Mexico. The name of this lizard comes in honor of Henry Crecy Yarrow, who was an American herpetologist, and more.

This species has extremely keeled scales, with pink, green, blue, and copperish coloring. They have gray heads, with males having blue markings near their faces. Around this lizard’s neck is a black collar marked with a white border.

This species feeds on insects like ants, and whatever is most abundant. They are not seen in the winter like most other lizards, as the cold makes them inactive.

13. Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard

Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus uniformis)
Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus uniformis)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Sceloporus uniformis
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 4 to 7 in. (10.16 to 17.78 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 30 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The yellow-backed spiny lizard is native to the Mojave and Great Basin deserts of North America. This species is found in riparian woodlands and low-mountain habitats. They are often seen basking on rocks in the sun. In the hot time of the day, this lizard is inactive. Late fall and winter are when this species begins to hibernate.

This lizard is large when fully grown, and has tan, or brown coloring. They have stripes that run across this lizard’s body, and a black collar marking on their neck. The color of this lizard can be quite vibrant and there can be multiple shades on them during the breeding season.

This lizard was originally believed to be a subspecies of the desert spiny lizard until further genetic analysis showed it is actually its own species. Yellow-backed spiny lizards are common in Arizona deserts and urban places.

14. Zebra-tailed Lizard

Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Callisaurus draconoides
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 7 to 9 in. (17.78 to 22.86 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years
  • Average Price Range: $15

Zebra-tailed lizards are named after the black and white colored stripes that appear on their curled tail. This species has sandy brown coloring with light spots on them. Their appearance helps them blend into the plains, and open desert habitats they live in.

Early morning is when this species is active, going to rest during the hottest periods of the day. This species uses its curled tail to distract predators. They breed in the summer season, laying their eggs to hatch in the soil.

Predators of this lizard include larger lizards, birds, and mammals. Flowers, buds, insects, spiders, and invertebrates are what this lizard’s diet consists of. Zebra-tailed lizards have a stable population, and there are around 9 subspecies of this lizard in the wild.

15. Desert Horned Lizard

Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos)
Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Phrynosoma platyrhinos
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3.75 in. (9.5 cm)
  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
  • Average Price Range:$40

The desert horned lizard is native to western North America. This species is one of the many types of horned lizard that inhabit Arizona. Desert horned lizards live in prairie, sandy, and rocky habitats. This species is found in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts.

Desert horned lizards have round and flat bodies, with large heads. They have horns covering them, with a gray, or tan desert coloring. This species looks very similar to sparse desert vegetation.

To make itself look more threatening, this species will puff up its body to make it look bigger. Their body shape and spiky body make them harder for some predators to eat. Ants are a common food item this lizard species eats. Desert horned lizards will cover themselves with sand, and hide to ambush prey.

16. Flat-tail Horned Lizard

Flat-tail Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma mcallii)
Flat-tail Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma mcallii)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Phrynosoma mcallii
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3.4 in. (8.6 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 8 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Flat-tail horned lizards are native to the Sonoran desert. This species can be found in Arizona and other parts of the southwestern United States. They live in sparse desert habitats. Active during the day, this lizard is adapted to live in hot weather.

The body of this lizard is very flat on the ground. They have a tannish color, with an oval-shaped body. Their back is smooth with small spikes. Spikes also appear on this lizard’s head. Dark spots may appear on their back, but their bellies are plain white.

This lizard is very quick, and if spotted will flee. They also bury themselves under the sand and hide in plants to escape predators. The flat-tailed horned lizard cannot shoot blood from its eyes like other similar lizards. They feed primarily on ants and other small invertebrates.

17. Greater Short-horned Lizard

Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi)
Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Phrynosoma hernandesi
  • Other Names: Mountain short-horned lizard
  • Adult Size: 6 in. (15 cm.)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: $40

Found in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana are where the greater short-horned lizards live, and they are found at elevations up to 10,000 ft. This species lives in grasslands, prairies, sagebrush deserts, and pine forests. Spring is when mating season occurs for this lizard, and they typically lay around 9 to 18 eggs.

Greater short-horned lizards have tan, yellow, orange, or brown coloring. Their bodies usually match the soil in the region they live. Spikes cover this species, and they have large heads with oval bodies.

Beetles, snails, small snakes, spiders, and other bugs are what this lizard feeds on. Camouflage is used by these species to avoid predators, but they can also squirt blood from their eyes to deter dogs.

18. Regal Horned Lizard

Regal Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma solare)
Regal Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma solare)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Phrynosoma solare
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3 to 4 in. (7.6 to 10.16 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Desert creosote bush, mesquite, and open hot and dry habitats are where the regal horned lizard lives. This species can be found in Mexico, and are native to the Sonoran Desert Mountains. Regal horned deserts are active in mountainous regions with sparse desert habitats.

Regal horned lizards are around the size of a hand and have a round body. This species is gray, yellow, or tan. They have spikes covering them, and large ones coming out of their head.

The spikes of this lizard are useful in making them hard to eat. They also have good camouflage and can squirt blood out of their eyes. This lizard is able to survive in hot and dry places. Ants are what they eat, and they can eat up to 1,000 in one meal.

19. Roundtail Horned Lizard

Roundtail Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma modestum) by Jerry Oldenettel
Roundtail Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma modestum) by Jerry Oldenettel
  • Experience Level: Intermediate  
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Phrynosoma modestum
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.7 to 4.3 (7 to 10.5 cm)
  • Lifespan: 7 years 
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The roundtable horned lizard is a species found in eastern Arizona. They live in rocky, and semiarid habitats. This species breeds by laying eggs and does this in the summer.

Small in size, this species has a round appearance. They have tan, brown, or gray coloring, and their shade usually reflects the soil where they live. Roundtail horned lizards have very round and lat bodies. They have short limbs, with smaller legs. Their heads are mall and have horns.

This lizard feeds on small ants and uses their camouflage to sneak up on prey. Not seen in winter due to hibernation, this lizard is active from the spring to fall months.

20. Sonoran Horned Lizard

Sonoran Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma goodei) by Evan Bornholtz
Sonoran Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma goodei) by Evan Bornholtz
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Phrynosoma goodei
  • Other Names: Goode’s desert horned lizard
  • Adult Size: 3.75 in. (9.5 mm)
  • Lifespan: 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The Sonoran horned lizard is native to Arizona and also found in Mexico. This lizard is considered its own species due to its different DNA from other similar lizards. Sonoran horned lizards are found in the Sonoran desert area. This species has a very small range, and its status is considered vulnerable.

This lizard has a flat and wide body. Like other horned lizards, they have spikes covering their bodies and heads. Their color is tan, brown, or gray, and spots, appear on them.

The southwestern regions of Arizona in basin deserts are where this species has been documented the most in the state. This terrestrial lizard uses plants, and large rocks as cover when not active.

21. Texas Horned Lizard

Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum)
Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum)
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Phrynosoma cornutum
  • Other Names: Horny Toad
  • Adult Size: 3.7 to 5 in. (9.93 ot 12.7 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 5 years 
  • Average Price Range: $40 

The Texas Horned lizard is a very common species in North America. This species is native to Arizona and also found in other states like Texas, and Louisiana. Texas horned lizards are named after the horns that cover their body. Their tan and mottled coloring makes them look similar to sparse desert vegetation.

Texas horned lizards live in flat habitats and are tolerant to heat. They are active during the day and hunt for ants. This lizard has various defenses to protect itself like the ability to squirt blood from their eyes, spikes, and flat bodies.

Digging is one of this lizard’s strong suits, and they use this skill to dig out food or bury themselves. This reptile is often kept as a pet, and reports of this species out of their natural range often occur.

22. Mojave Fringe-toed Lizard

Mojave Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma scoparia)
Mojave Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma scoparia)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Uma scoparia
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.75 to 5.2 in. (6.98 to 13.2 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The Mojave fringe-toed lizard is a diurnal species, active from the spring to fall months. This lizard is found in eastern Arizona, and also parts of California. They live in desert habitats at elevations up to 3,000 ft. above sea level.

This species has smooth skin, with a desert color or tan, gray, or white. They have black spots on their body and a flat appearance. They have long toes which help them travel across sandy places.

Invertebrates like ants and beetles are what this lizard eats. They sometimes eat plants like leaves and flowers. Roadrunners, snakes, coyotes, and birds are the various predators that feed on this lizard.

23. Mohawk Dunes Fringe-toed Lizard

Mohawk Dunes Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma thurmanae)
Mohawk Dunes Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma thurmanae) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Uma thurmanae
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 7 years
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Found in Arizona, the Mohwak dunes fringe-toed lizard is found in the state’s Mohawk Mountains. This lizard is very rare and is considered an at-risk species. The species name of this lizard is named in honor of actress Uma Thurman.

The mohawks dune fringe-toed lizard has a desert coloring. They stand upright and are active during the day. This species is medium-sized, with a flat body. Tan in color, they sometimes have blotches on them.

This species is in need of protection, and require a specific desert habitat to survive. They are rare, and studying them is difficult.

24. Yuman Fringe-toed Lizard

Yuman Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma cowlesi)
Yuman Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma cowlesi) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Uma cowlesi
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.7 to 4.8 in. (7 to 12.2 cm.)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The Yuman desert fringe-toed lizard is native to southwestern Arizona. This species lives in desert habitats with sparse vegetation, and lots of sand. They are only common in a certain habitat within the state.

The color and pattern that appears on this species help them blend into the habitats they live in. This species has a yellow, tan, or cream coloring, with a black mottled pattern covering it. This species has long legs and an upright stance.

Yuman fringe-toed lizards are named in honor of American herpetologist Raymond Bridgman Cowles. They are found in the Sonoran desert and are an important part of the ecosystem.

Teiidae

25. Arizona Striped Whiptail

Arizona Striped Whiptail (Aspidoscelis arizonae)
Arizona Striped Whiptail (Aspidoscelis arizonae)
  • Experience Level: 
  • Family: Teiidae
  • Scientific Name: Aspidoscelis arizonae
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.8 in. (7.2 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a 

Arizona whiptails are a lizard native to Arizona. They live in desert shrubs and grassy habitats. This lizard is threatened by habitat destruction due to livestock and agricultural industries. They live across the Chihuahuan Desert.

Arizona striped whiptails have stripes running down their body. They have black, or olive coloring, with cream stripes. This species has a bluish tail, and a spotted pattern sometimes covers them.

Spring and summer grasslands are filled with these types of lizards. This species hunt for insects, spiders, and other invertebrates. They are not seen in the winter due to the cold.

26. Canyon Spotted Whiptail

Canyon Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis burti)
Canyon Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis burti) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Teiidae
  • Scientific Name: Aspidoscelis burti
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 5.5 in. (13.9 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Canyon-spotted whiptails are found in the southwestern United States. This species lives in forests, grasslands, rocky areas, and shrubland habitats. Canyon spotted whiptails are diurnal, and terrestrial lizards.

These lizards have stripes going down their body, with spots covering them. They have tan, orangish, or gray coloring. Canyon spotted whiptails are one of the largest lizards of their type, and they have come in various colors and patterns.

These species hibernate in the cold and later fall. They breed in spring and lay up to 10 eggs. They feed on small insects, spiders, and other types of invertebrates. This lizard is quick and uses its speed to escape predators. Their population is limited due to their habitat.

27. Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail

Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis exsanguis)
Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis exsanguis)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Teiidae
  • Scientific Name: Aspidoscelis exsanguis
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 9.5 to 12 in. (24.13 to 30.48 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The southern United States and southern Arizona are where the Chihuahuan spotted whiptail lives. This species is active during the day, found in deserts, grasslands, canyons, and woodland habitats. Chihuahuhan spotted whiptails have a stable population, and are not considered threatened.

This lizard has brown coloring, with six stripes running down its body. They have a white underside, with slim bodies. Their tails are long, sometimes reaching up to 3 times their body length.

Chihuahuan spotted whiptails traverse their habitats for insects to feed on. They lay eggs and place them in holes for them to hatch. Eggs are laid in early summer, or late spring, with one female laying up to six. This lizard is an all-female species and has babies by cloning.

28. Desert Grassland Whiptail

Desert Grassland Whiptail (spidoscelis uniparens) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Teiidae
  • Scientific Name: Aspidoscelis uniparens
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.75 to 5.25 in. (7 to 13.3 cm)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Desert grassland whiptail lizards are found in deserts, grasslands, and hilly habitats. These lizards live in southern, and central Arizona. They have a stable population and are able to live in more urban-rural regions.

Desert grassland whiptail lizards are small, and have slim bodies and long tails. They have six yellow lines running across their body. This species has olive, green, tan, or gray coloring. They have larger and smoother scales on their bellies.

This lizard is able to produce asexual but also crossbreeds with other similar species. They feed on small ants, termites, and other small insects. This lizard is active during the day, spending its time stalking their prey.

29. Giant Spotted Whiptail

Giant Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis stictogramma) by Lon and Queta
Giant Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis stictogramma) by Lon and Queta
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Teiidae
  • Scientific Name: Aspidoscelis stictogramma
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.75 to 5.25 in. (7 to 13.3 cm)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Giant spotted whiptails are large lizards found in Arizona and other southwestern states. These species live in semi-desert, woodland, and open desert habitats. They are active during the day, often seen scurrying around.

Giant spotted whiptails are one of the largest whiptails that live in Arizona. Tan, brown, or olive are the colors of this lizard, and they have white, or cream-colored stripes running down them. Spots also appear on this lizard’s body.

Small invertebrates are what this lizard eats. This lizard population is stable, but they rely on the preservation of the desert habitat to survive.

30. Gila Spotted Whiptail

Gila Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis flagellicauda)
Gila Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis flagellicauda) by Lon and Queta
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Teiidae
  • Scientific Name: Aspidoscelis flagellicauda
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 6.5 to 11 in. (17 to 28 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The Gila spotted whiptail lives in woodlands, chaparral, and riparian desert habitats. This species is active during the day, and you may see them foraging or basking in the sun. Summer and spring are when this lizard lays their eggs, and you may find their nests in vegetation or rock crevices.

Gila spotted whiptail lizards have brown, or black coloring. They have thin tails, with stripes, and spot patterns on their body. This lizard has a plain underside, and younger specimens may lack spots on them.

In the fall and winter, this lizard is not seen as it hibernates. Spiders and insects are some of the food this lizard eats. They have a limited population, and may not be seen since they can camouflage well into their environments.

31. Little Striped Whiptail

Little Striped Whiptail (Aspidoscelis inornatus)
Little Striped Whiptail (Aspidoscelis inornatus) by J.N. Stewart
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Teiidae
  • Scientific Name: Aspidoscelis inornatus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 6.5 to 9.5 in. (16.51 to 24.13 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The southwestern United States including Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas are where the little striped whiptail lives. They are also found in northern Mexico. Active in the day, this lizard lives in grasslands and semi-arid rocky habitats.

Little striped whiptails are medium-sized and have black, yellow, or white coloring. They have stripes running from their head to their tail. This lizard has a slender body, Their tails are blue, and they may have brown patches on them.

A very fast lizard, this species uses its speed to escape predators and hide under plant life. They feed on small insects and dart around to search for prey. Breeding for this lizard occurs in the spring, and females may lay around 2 to 4 eggs.

32. New Mexico Whiptail

New Mexico Whiptail (Aspidoscelis neomexicanus)
New Mexico Whiptail (Aspidoscelis neomexicanus)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Teiidae
  • Scientific Name: Aspidoscelis neomexicanus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 6.5 to 9.5 in. (16.51 to 24.13 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The New Mexico whiptail is found in the southwestern United States and has a range covering Arizona. This lizard lives in grasslands and rocky habitats. They are active during the day, spending their time feeding on insects.

New Mexico whiptail lizards are medium-sized. They have a brown, to black color, with seven yellow stripes running down their body from head to tail. This lizard has a slender body, and when born they have blue-colored tails.

This lizard is very speedy and moves around vegetation to stay hidden. This lizard is a crossbreed of the western whiptail and striped whiptail. Females are known to do mating behaviors with other females, which helps them lay their eggs.

33. Pai Striped Whiptail

Pai Striped Whiptail (Aspidoscelis pai) by Batemanhl
Pai Striped Whiptail (Aspidoscelis pai) by Batemanhl
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Teiidae
  • Scientific Name: Aspidoscelis pai
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 6.5 to 9.5 in. (16.51 to 24.13 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Pai striped whiptails are a lizard species native to Arizona. This species lives in desert habitats, and are active in the day. Insects are what this lizard feeds on, and hunts during the day. The population of this lizard is considered stable, but further research is needed.

This lizard has stripes running from their head to their back which have a yellowish color. They have blueish coloring on their underside. Their bodies are slender, and their tails are as long as their entire body. This species limited range makes it difficult to study and document their lifestyle.

34. Plateau Striped Whiptail

Plateau Striped Whiptail (Aspidoscelis velox)
Plateau Striped Whiptail (Aspidoscelis velox)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Teiidae
  • Scientific Name: Aspidoscelis velox
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2 to 5 in. (5 to 12.7 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The plateau striped whiptail is native to Arizona and is also found in other places like Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Plateau striped whiptails have stripes running down their body that are yellow. Their tails are blue, and their base color is black. This species is always moving and is very speedy. They have slender bodies, with long legs.

Beetles, insects, and even smaller other lizards are what this species eats. This lizard has a population considered stable. They lay around 1 t o4 eggs in their breeding season in early summer.

35. Red-backed Whiptail

Red-backed Whiptail (Aspidoscelis xanthonotus) by kippm
Red-backed Whiptail (Aspidoscelis xanthonotus) by kippm
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Teiidae
  • Scientific Name: Aspidoscelis xanthonotus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2 to 5 in. (5 to 12.7 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Red-backed whiptails are lizards that live in rocky Arizona habitats. This lizard is active during the day and is not very well studied. Near shrubs, and grasses are where this species is often found looking for food. The mornings times from spring to fall are the best times to spot this lizard.

Red-backed whiptails have reddish, or orange-colored backs. They have stripes, and spot patterns on them, with blue colorings on their tails and back. This lizard’s rusty orange color with a blue tint is why many love their coloring and also helps them blend into rocks.

36. Sonoran Spotted Whiptail

Sonoran Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis sonorae) by Troupial
Sonoran Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis sonorae) by Troupial
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Teiidae
  • Scientific Name: Aspidoscelis sonorae
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2 to 5 in. (5 to 12.7 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Arizona, New Mexico, and the country of Mexico are where the Sonoran spotted whiptail lizard lives. This species is found across the Sonoran desert, at elevations up to 8,000 ft. Desert grasslands, scrubs, and woodlands are where this lizard lives.

Sonoran spotted whiptails have stripes running across their body, and spots. They have tan, olive, or greenish coloring, and older lizards may have more spots. This species has a slender appearance and is medium-sized.

The day is when the Sonoran spotted whiptail hunts. They feed on small insects, spiders, and arthropods. Summer is when this lizard breeds and they lay around 1 to 7 eggs.

Helodermatidae

37. Gila Monster

Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum)
Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum)
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Helodermatidae
  • Scientific Name: Heloderma suspectum
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 10.2 to 14.1 in. (26 to 36 cm)
  • Lifespan: 20 to 36 years
  • Average Price Range: $1,200

In Arizona, the Gila monster can be found in the southern, and western rocky drainages, and slopped habitats. This lizard is the largest in Arizona and is also known for its poisonous venomous. This lizard lives in burrows, but they are sometimes spotted wandering during the day.

Gila monsters have robust bodies, with orange and black coloring. They have bumpy beaded scales and large tails that are used to store fat. This lizard does not have fangs, but grooved teeth used to administer venom.

Bites from this lizard are rare, but deaths are not common if a bite does occur. The venom of this lizard is useful for catching prey like frogs, other lizards, and small mammals. This desert-dwelling reptile has venom as strong as a rattlesnake.

Phrynosomatidae

38. Greater Earless Lizard

Greater Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus texanus)
Greater Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus texanus)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Cophosaurus texanus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.6 to 5.3 in. (6.6 to 13.4 cm)
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Average Price Range: $15

Greater earless lizards live in high elevations and below sea level in desert habitats. This species is active in the day, and are sighted most in the spring and summer. Greater earless lizards use desert vegetation as cover and an escape from the heat.

This species is medium, with males having a larger size and brighter color. They can have orange, tan, gray, blue, and green colorings on them. Spots, stripes, and bar patterns cover this lizard’s body. This lizard lacks external ear holes, which is uncommon for lizards.

Butterflies, moths, spiders, and other invertebrates are what this lizard hunts. Why they are active during the day, and they avoid hunting in the hottest times. This lizard has a stable population in Arizona but relies on the desert habitat to be preserved to prevent habitat loss.

39. Elegant Earless Lizard

Elegant Earless Lizard (Holbrookia elegans) by Rocio Guzman
Elegant Earless Lizard (Holbrookia elegans) by Rocio Guzman
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Holbrookia elegans
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3 in. (7.62 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Average Price Range: $15

In Arizona, the elegant earless lizard lives in the southeastern corner of the state. This lizard lives in open, and sparsely vegetated habitats. Elegant earless lizards are active during the day.

This lizard is small and has spots and chevron markings on them. Like other earless lizards, this species lacks any external ear holes. Tan, brown, or gray or common colors of this lizard, and they can have yellow or orange markings.

Elegant earless lizards are not common in the state and are only found in a small region within the area. They were also once considered a separate species before becoming their own.

40. Lesser Earless Lizard

Lesser Earless Lizard (Holbrookia maculata)
Lesser Earless Lizard (Holbrookia maculata)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrnosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Holbrookia maculata
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 4 to 5 in. (10 to 13 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The lesser earless lizard is native to Arizona, and the southwestern United States. They are also found in northern Mexico and live in sandy, soft soil habitats. When not active during the day this lizard will rest in burrows.

Lesser earless lizards have gray coloring, with dark chevron-shaped markings. They may have other markings on them like bars, and other shades. The belly of this lizard is white, and no external ear holes.

Lesser earless lizards feed on prey like spiders and insects. Spring to early October is when this lizard species lives. Like most other lizards this species lays eggs and reproduces in the spring.

Gekkonidae

41. Keeled Rock Gecko

Keeled Rock Gecko (Cyrtopodion scabrum)
Keeled Rock Gecko (Cyrtopodion scabrum)
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Gekkonidae
  • Scientific Name: Cyrtopodion scabrum
  • Other Names: Common Tubberculate Ground Gecko, Rough Bent-toed Gecko
  • Adult Size: 3 to 4.63 in. (7.5 to 11.7 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Keeled rock geckos are native to places like Afghanistan, India, and Egypt. This species was introduced to the United States, including Arizona. Keeled rock geckos are active at night. They are believed to have been introduced to Arizona from shipments from Asia.

Keeled rock geckos have brown, or light tan coloring. They have dark spots on them, and very roughly keeled scales. The body of the keeled rock gecko is slender, and they have long toes with no pads on them.

Since this lizard primarily inhabits urban areas in Arizona, this species is not considered a threat to other nocturnal lizards. Seeing this lizard in the state is rare. Small insects and flying bugs are what make up this lizard’s diet.

42. Mediterranean House Gecko

Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
  • Experience Level: Beginner 
  • Family: Gekkonidae
  • Scientific Name: Hemidactylus turcicus
  • Other Names: Turkish gecko
  • Adult Size: 3 to 6 in. (7.62 to 15.24 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 9 years 
  • Average Price Range: $10

Mediterranean house geckos are not native to Arizona but are a species introduced from west Asia, and the Mediterranean. This lizard is common in urban areas and one you may see in your backyard, or in parks. Only active at night, this species may sit near light sources to look for insects to hunt.

Tan, gray, or white, or purplish are the colors this lizard appears in. They have very bumpy skink, with large yellowish cat-like eyes. A dark mottled pattern may cover them, and they have sticky toe pads which help them climb walls.

Mediterranean house geckos are great hunters, and you may see them climbing onto walls to get their food. It is believed this lizard has managed to come to the region by traveling with traded goods.

The eggs this lizard lays take around 2 to 3 months to hatch, and they have bred throughout the year. Currently, the Mediterranean house gecko is not considered a threat to native species in the state.

43. Western Banded Gecko

Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus)
Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus)
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Gekkonidae
  • Scientific Name: Coleonyx variegatus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 4 to 6 in. (10 to 15 cm)
  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
  • Average Price Range: $60

The western banded gecko is a species native to the southwestern United States. This lizard is found in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and also in parts of Mexico. Western banded geckos live in hillsides, geckos, and open desert habitats.

Western banded geckos have velvet-colored skin. They have yellow dorsal coloring, with brown blotches on them. Various markings and shades can appear on this lizard, which helps them blend into their habitats.

Insects and arachnids are what this lizard eats. Western banded geckos have a stable population. They are active at night and can be spotted hunting when the sun sets. Breeding season for this lizard occurs in the spring, and their eggs hatch in the summer and fall.

Iguanidae

44. Common Chuckwalla

Common Chuckwalla (auromalus ater)
Common Chuckwalla (auromalus ater)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Iguanidae
  • Scientific Name: Sauromalus ater
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 16 in. (40 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 15 to 65 years
  • Average Price Range: $200

The common chuckwalla is found in the southwestern United States and is native to the region’s various desert habitats. This species lives in rocky, and hillside habitats They hibernate in the winter, resting in the crevices of rocks. When active this species basks in the sun and is out even in temperatures as high as 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

Common chuckwallas are one of the largest lizards that live in Arizona. This species has loose skin with a bulky appearance. Common chuckwallas have a tan, orange, or dark coloring. Males have brighter coloring, and their tails are long and thick.

Common chuckwalla has sharp teeth, and if they lose any of them they regrow back. Fruit, insects, and other types of vegetation are what this lizard eats. This lizard is diurnal.

45. Desert Iguana

Desert Night Lizard (Xantusia vigilis) by Natalie McNear
Desert Night Lizard (Xantusia vigilis) by Natalie McNear
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Iguanidae
  • Scientific Name: Disposaurus dorsalis
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 16 inches (40 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 16 years
  • Average Price Range: $50

In  Arizona, the desert iguana can be found in the southwestern region of the state. This species is found in desert scrublands, and dry, sandy habitats. They live at elevations below 3,300 ft. The Sonoran and Mojave deserts are where this lizard lives in North America.

Desert iguanas are medium-sized lizard. They have light brown or tan coloring. Their tails have bands, and their bodies have spots and a blotched pattern. This lizard has bumpy scales and a robust appearance.

This lizard is a herbivore and feeds on flowers, leaves, bushes, and insects. They must watch out for predators like foxes, rats, birds, and snakes.

46. Spiny-tailed Iguana

Black spiny-tailed iguana (Ctenosaurua spp.)
Black spiny-tailed iguana (Ctenosaurua spp.)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Iguanidae
  • Scientific Name: Ctenosaurua spp.
  • Other Names: Black spiny-tailed iguana
  • Adult Size: 4.3 ft. (1.3 m.)
  • Lifespan: 60 years
  • Average Price Range: $50

There are several spiny-tailed iguana species that live in Arizona. This species was introduced to Arizona, near the Sonora Desert Museum in Tuscon Arizona. Being released is how this breeding population started in the state.

Large in size, these lizards have a black banded pattern that appears on their tail They have a speckled pattern, and stripes run on them sometimes. Down this iguana’s back, this lizard has spines.

Spiny iguanas feed on fruit, insects, spiders, and even fish. This lizard has not been shown to move out of the region they were introduced to.

Crotaphytidae

47. Eastern Collared Lizard

Eastern Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris)
Eastern Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Crotaphytidae
  • Scientific Name: Crotaphytus collaris
  • Other Names: Yellow-headed Collared Lizard
  • Adult Size: 8 to 15 in. (20 to 38 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Average Price Range: $70

The eastern collared lizard is native to North America, and they have a large range covering the western United States. This species is found in Arizona and inhabits the Sonoran desert. Eastern collared lizards live in rocky, desert scrub, and open vegetated habitats.

This species is a medium-sized lizard and has two black collars around its neck. They have a tan, green, brown, or yellowish color. Spots, cross bands, and blotches appear on the bodies. This lizard gets more colorful during the breeding season.

Eastern collared lizards have string bites which help them grip their prey. To avoid predators this lizard will flee, and hide under rocks. This lizard is active during the day and will bask in the sun. Summer and early fall are when hatchlings being to emerge, and these lizards are spotted most.

48. Great Basin Collared Lizard

Great Basin Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus bicinctores)
Great Basin Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus bicinctores)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Crotaphytidae
  • Scientific Name: Crotaphytus bicinctores
  • Other Names: Mojave Black-collared Lizard
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 4.5 in. (6.4 to 11.4 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Average Price Range: $60

The range of the Great Basin collared lizard covers the western United States and the entire western regions of Arizona. This species is found in the Mojave, Sonoran, and Great Basin deserts. They live in arid, desert scrub habitats.

Great Basin collared lizards like other similar species have a black collard making around their neck. They have brown, or orangish coloring, with various spots, blotches, and stripes markings covering them. The tails of this lizard are long and thick.

Plant matter and small desert animals are what this lizard eats. They may feed on things like small rodents and snakes but primarily eat animals like spiders and insects.

49. Sonoran Collared Lizard

Sonoran Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus nebrius)
Sonoran Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus nebrius) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Crotaphytidae
  • Scientific Name: Crotaphytus nebrius
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 8 to 15 in. (20 to 38 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The Sonoran collared lizard is a species endemic to Arizona. They live across the Sonoran Desert and are found in desert scrub, sagebrush, grasslands, and rocky areas. This species is also found in Mexico, and its population is considered stable.

Sonoran collared lizards have a black collared pattern around their neck. They have olive, or green coloring, with blueish, tan, red, and orangish blotches on them.

This species is extremely quick and is one of the walks on its hind legs when running. They are capable of running up to three times their body length in just a single stride and can reach up to 15 mph. Desert birds, coyotes, and other mammals are this species’ most common predators they try to use their speed to escape.

50. Long-nosed Leopard Lizard

Long-nosed Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii)
Long-nosed Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Crotaphytidae
  • Scientific Name: Gambelia wislizenii
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3.25 to 5.75 in. (8.225 to 14.6 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

The long-nosed leopard lizard lives in semi-arid plain habitats, with lots of vegetation. This species is native to the western United States. They are native to the western United States and also found in places like California.

Long-nosed leopard lizards are white, gray, or yellow. They have brown, or gray spots covering them, and crossband patterns. Males of this species are smaller. This species has long toes and small bumpy scales. This lizard’s name comes from its leopard-like pattern.

Insects like butterflies, bees, and even small animals like mice are what this species eats. They are even capable of eating lizards close to their size. This species is an ambush predator. They enjoy basking in the sun during the day. If not extremely hot this species can be found all day.

Anguidae

51. Madrean Alligator Lizard

Madrean Alligator Lizard (Elgaria kingii)
Madrean Alligator Lizard (Elgaria kingii) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Anguidae
  • Scientific Name: Elgaria kingii
  • Other Names: 
  • Adult Size: 5.5 in. (14 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 8 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: $350

Madrean alligator lizards are native to the southwestern United States, and Mexico. Foothills, mountains, grasslands, and forests are where this species lives. This lizard is active during the day and spends its time foraging near rocks, and plants. They are most common in wooded canyons near drainages.

The Madrean alligator lizard is a large species, with shiny-smooth scales. They have a band pattern on them, and a tan, or yellowish coloring. This lizard has a robust body and a long tail.

Madrean alligator lizards feed on spiders, scorpions, and bugs. They mate and lay their eggs in the spring and fall. Up to 15 eggs are laid by this lizard. The similar appearance to a small alligator is where their common name comes from.

Scincidae

52. Gilbert’s Skink

Gilbert’s Skink (Plestiodon gilberti)
Gilbert’s Skink (Plestiodon gilberti)
  • Experience Level: Beginner 
  • Family: Scincidae
  • Scientific Name: Plestiodon gilberti
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3 to 4.5 in. (7 to 12 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 6 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The Gilbert’s skinks are found in a small portion of Arizona, mainly near the western portions of the state. They are native to the southwestern United States and can be found at elevations up to 7,200 ft. above sea level. This lizard may live in grasslands, open forests, and chaparral habitats.

A large, heavy-bodied skink, this species has grey, tan, or olive green coloring. This species is all one color but may have stripes when young. Gilbert’s skinks have smooth scales and a triangle-shaped head.

This species is terrestrial and spends its time in leaf litter. They sometimes hide under burrows, logs, and other vegetation. Giblerts skinks feed on insects, spiders, and other types of invertebrates. When breeding they usually lay around 3 to 9 eggs.

53. Great Plains Skink

Great Plains Skink (Plestiodon obsoletus)
Great Plains Skink (Plestiodon obsoletus)
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Scincidae
  • Scientific Name: Plestiodon obsoletus
  • Other Names: 3.5 to 5.11 in. (9 to 13 cm.)
  • Adult Size: 6.5 to 13.75 in. (16.51 to 34.9 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Average Price Range: $50

Great Plains skinks are found in foothills and mountainous habitats near water sources. This lizard is active mostly in the spring and summer months when they mate and lay their eggs. Around 5 to 32 eggs are laid by this species, which begin to hatch in the summer.

Great Plains skinks are the largest skink in their genus. This lizard has a robust body, with grey, or tan coloring. Great Plains skinks have smooth scales, with a yellow belly.

Beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers are examples of food this lizard eats. They are very common and important to the ecosystems they live in.

54. Many-lined Skink

Many-lined Skink (Plestiodon multivirgatus)
Many-lined Skink (Plestiodon multivirgatus) – source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Scincidae
  • Scientific Name: Plestiodon multivirgatus
  • Other Names: Variable Skink, Northern Many-lined Skink
  • Adult Size: 3 to 7.5 in. (7.5 to 19 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 6 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Many-lined skinks have a large range in Arizona and are found in much of the northeast portion of the state. This lizard lives in rocky habitats and can be found up to 8,500 ft. above sea level.

Medium in size, the many-lined skinks are tan, or olive in color. They have stripes that run down along their back and tail. This lizard has smooth scales, and in breeding seasons males may have red coloring on their cheeks.

Skinks feed on small animals they can fit in their mouths like spiders, snails, and insects. This lizard is preyed on by animals like birds, larger lizards, frogs, and cats.

55. Mountain Skink

Mountain Skink (Plestiodon callicephalus)
Mountain Skink (Plestiodon callicephalus)
  • Experience Level: Beginner 
  • Family: Scincidae
  • Scientific Name: Plestiodon callicephalus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3 in. (7.5 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 2 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Mountain skinks have a very small range in Arizona and are only found near the southeastern corner of the state near Mexico. This species is native to North America, found in various habitats rocky regions, rivers, and grasslands.

Mountain skinks are olive or tan. They have black stripes on their sides and a split marking on their head. Their scales are smooth, and their heads are pointed. When born skinks have blue tails and more vibrant colors that may fade with age unless they are females.

Mountain skinks hunt for small invertebrates on the ground and are primarily terrestrial. This lizard in its range is considered extremely at risk in some regions, and laws in the past have been put in place to protect some of their populations.

56. Western Skink

Western Skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus)
Western Skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus)
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Scincidae
  • Scientific Name: Plestiodon skiltonianus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 4 to 8.25 in. (10.16 to 20.95 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The western skink, as its name suggests has a native range within the western United States. In Arizona, this lizard is mainly found in the central northern region. Active during the day, this species may live in grasslands, woodlands, and dry hillsides.

Western skinks when born have bright blue tails. These lizards have dark coloring of gray, tan, or olive. Stripes run across the sides of their body, and their scales are smooth. Western skinks have small limbs, with slender bodies. When breeding females may have red coloring on their faces.

This lizard is secretive and often hides in burrows and crevices. They enjoy densely vegetated habitats so they could find the brush to hide in. Small insects and isopods are common foods for this lizard.

Xantusiidae

57. Arizona Night Lizard

  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Xantusiidae
  • Scientific Name: Xantusia arizonae
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3.9 in. (10 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Arizona night lizards can be found in the west-central region of the state. This species is active in the day, and not the night. They are very shy, do their best to avoid contact with humans, and will use natural debris as cover.

Arizona night lizards are medium-sized lizards. They have a tan, or yellowish coloring, sometimes covered in spots. This lizard’s slender body and pattern on them help them camouflage into their environment.

The nests of this lizard are made often in dying Yucca trees. Ants flies, beetles, and other invertebrates are what this lizard eats. Studying and sighting this lizard species is difficult due to its secretive nature.

58. Bezy’s Night Lizard

Bezy’s Night Lizard (Xantusia bezyi)
Bezy’s Night Lizard (Xantusia bezyi)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Santusiidae
  • Scientific Name: Xantusia bezyi
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3 to 5.2 in. (7.62 to 13 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 8 to 10 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Bezy’s night lizard is a species native to central Arizona. This species gets its name from herpetologist Robert Lee Bezy. Woodlands are the habitat this species lives in, and they often hide under rocks, or in crevices.

Small in size, this lizard has gray, brown, or yellowish coloring. They have a flat head, with blotches on their back. Compared to other lizards, this species has scales that are more smooth.

This lizard’s diet mainly consists of spiders and insects. They give birth to their young lives, and not in eggs. This species is only common in a small portion of Arizona.

59. Desert Night Lizard

Desert Night Lizard (Xantusia vigilis) by Natalie McNear
Desert Night Lizard (Xantusia vigilis) by Natalie McNear
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Xantusiidae
  • Scientific Name: Xantusia vigilis
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3 to 5.2 in. (7.62 to 13 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 8 to 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $300

Desert night lizards are native to the extreme western regions of North America. Desert night lizards live in semi-arid habitats, in places with lots of desert habitats. This species hides in vegetation, or under rocks. They are common near Yucca plants like the Joshua tree.

The desert night lizard has a yellow, or olive color. They are small lizards, with a spotted pattern covering them. Their limbs are nimble, and their body is covered in bumpy scales.

Even with their name, this species is found during the day, in the early morning, and around sunset. This species feeds on small insects, spiders, and scorpions. This species breeds in the fall and is one of the few lizards to give birth to live young.

FAQ

Are there poisonous lizards in Arizona?

The Gila monster is the only poisonous lizard in Arizona. These lizards don’t have fangs, but large grooved teeth in their lower jaws that administer their venom. Bites from this lizard are not common, as they spend most of their lives underground. While not typically life-threatening, their bites may cause symptoms like swelling, burning pain, nausea, and high perspiration.

Are there poisonous lizards in Arizona?

The Gila monster is the only poisonous lizard in Arizona. These lizards don’t have fangs, but large grooved teeth in their lower jaws that administer their venom. Bites from this lizard are not common, as they spend most of their lives underground. While not typically life-threatening, their bites may cause symptoms like swelling, burning pain, nausea, and high perspiration.

While there is plenty of smaller lizards in Arizona, the state is also home to some of the largest in North America like the common chuckwalla, and Gila monster. These lizards can grow over 12 inches large. A lizard’s sex, age, and species are what determine its size.

In Arizona why are there so many lizard species?

Arizona is home to up to 60 lizard species, and it has one of the highest amounts of types of lizards in a single state. Arizona is the only state in the United States to have access to all four great North American deserts. The deserts are extremely biodiverse, as well as the state, which is why there are so many lizard species.

Wrapping up

Arizona is home to around 59 lizard species, all of them having something interesting to discover about them. Lizards are key predators of animals like spiders, or insects, and also help control the population of these invertebrates. Some species of lizards may not be seen often since they live in burrows, but still play key roles in the ecosystems they live in.

Some of the lizards in Arizona may be endangered, or losing their population. It is important to not disturb the wildlife or habitats these lizards live in to protect them from losing population. Pollution, habitat destruction, and humans taking lizards out of the wild are some reasons species may begin to become unstable.

Arizona has a wide range of diverse lizards that live in the state. With nearly 60 species there is plenty to learn about how these lizards live and interact with their ecosystem. Some lizards even make good pets for the right owner. For reptile enthusiasts there arse countless lizard species that may even make good pets that are from Arizona.

More lizards in other states

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