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27 Slithery Lizards in Nevada

Home to around 27 distinct species, the vibrant state of Nevada presents a fascinating showcase of lizards. These creatures, each unique in color, size, habitat, and behavior, contribute to the state’s rich tapestry of wildlife.

Understanding where to spot these lizards and how to identify them brings to light the incredible diversity within each species.

In addition to lizards, Nevada’s ecosystem includes a plethora of other animals, such as frogs and snakes, all playing pivotal roles in maintaining the ecological balance. These lizards in Nevada are not only intriguing to learn about, but they also serve as essential components in the circle of life.

Lizards in Nevada

1. Desert 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: Great Basin collared lizard
  • Adult Size: 10 in.(25.4 cm)
  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
  • Average Price Range: $50

The desert collard lizard is native to the Western United States. Found in most of Nevada, this species lives in the desert, and desert wash habitats. The Mojave, Sonoran, and the southeastern region of the Great Basin deserts in North America are where this species lives.

Desert-collared lizards get their name from the markings around their necks that look like a collar. This species has a tan, dark brown, or black coloring. Black bands appear on their necks; this lizard has white spots, with yellowish markings covering them. Male desert-collared lizards have larger heads and also showcase darker colors.

These lizards have strong jaws and rely on a diet of small animals like other lizards, snakes, insects, and mice. They even eat plants and fruits on some occasions. Desert collard lizards are common, and under the IUCN are listed as “least concern”.

2. 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 is a common lizard found in Nevada and other states in the western United States. Deserts and other sparsely vegetated habitats are where this lizard lives.

White, gray, or cream are the colors this species appears in. Spots that are black, or orange cover their backs and sides. Granular markings appear on them, and they have a long tails.

Active in the day, long-nosed leopard lizards are very speedy. If threatened they may hiss, or squeal. Small invertebrates like insects, spiders, or plant material are what they hunt, and forage for during the day.

When not active this lizard may hide under vegetation or other debris in the shade. March from fall is when you may spot this species in its peak activity.

3. 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

Gila monsters are the largest, and only venomous lizard species that lives in Nevada. In Nevada, this species lives within the blistering Mojave Desert. Gila monsters are secretive and live underground in burrows. The spring is when this species comes out most from their burrows, and they are active during the day.

Gila monsters have a stout appearance and black and orange coloring. Their bodies are beaded and have a bumpy appearance. Their tails are large and also used to store fat, which is why they can go months without eating.

Bites from Gila monsters are rare but can be extremely painful. They do not have fangs but use grooved teeth to help administer venom. Death from this species is extremely rare, and their bites are more useful for catching prey like other lizards, frogs, and insects.

4. 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

Common chuckwallas in Nevada are mainly found in southern Nevada in the Mojave desert. Rocky habitats are where this lizard lives. Nevada, as well as Utah, California, and Baja California is also where you can find this species.

Common chuckwallas have bulky bodies, with small scales covering them. Sex and age can determine the colorations of this species. Males have black and tan bodies with specks covering them. Females have brown coloring, with reddish spots.

A harmless species, common chuckwallas are typically only aggressive with other members of their species, or their food. Active during the day, you can sometimes see this species basking on a rock. Mating occurs in the spring and summer, and in winter this lizard brumates.

5. Desert Iguana

Desert Iguana (Disposaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguana (Disposaurus dorsalis)
  • 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

Dry, and rocky habitats are where the desert iguanas live. They are a burrowing species, and if out find small shrubs to escape the sun. Desert iguanas are mainly found in the Mojave desert in Nevada.

Medium in size, the desert iguana has a very long tail. They have a tan, or cream coloring, with a brown reticulated pattern. Their coloring and markings help this speedy lizard blend into its environment.

Measurements of their speed have had them going around 30 mph, and even running on their hind legs. The middle of the day, in the spring and summer, is when this species is active and sighted the most. Desert iguanas are one of the most common lizards in their region and have a stable population.

6. 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

In Nevada within the desert habitat lives the greater earless lizard. This species prefers high open deserts and rocky regions. The greater earless lizards are spotted most in the spring and summer breeding seasons. They are active during the day, and spend their time on the surface of the desert, not usually burrowing.

Greater earless lizards are medium-sized and have coloration used to blend into the desert habitat. This species is sexually dimorphic, with males being larger and having brighter colors. Greater earless lizards have green, orangish, and tan coloring, with black stripes on them.

To prevent overheating this lizard species will avoid the hottest time of the day. They feed on animals like grasshoppers, butterflies, and spiders. Greater earless lizards have a stable population but are still affected by habitat degradation.

7. 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: 2.5 to 5 inches (6.35 to 12.7 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $12

Native to the western United States, common side-blotched lizards are a species that inhabits Nevada. Common side-blotched lizards live in scrubland and semi-arid habitats. Common side-blotched lizards are active mostly in the spring and fall months when mating and egg-laying occur.

Common side-blotched lizards have tan or grayish coloring. The scales of this lizard are slightly keeled, and they have a cream-plain belly. Dark and light-colored markings run down their body.

The population of this lizard is stable, and they are abundant throughout their range. These smaller lizards mainly feed on small insects, spiders, scorpions, and other small invertebrates. Due to the lack of threats this lizard faces, their population is listed as “least concern”, by the IUCN.

8. Ornate Tree Lizard

Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)
Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Urosaurus ornatus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 1.49 to 2.32 inches (3.8 to 5.9 cm)
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

In the southwestern United States, and parts of Mexico, the ornate tree lizard is a common species you may come across. Desert, rocky, and riparian landscapes are places this species can be found. This species is often seen climbing trees, but they also venture on rocky areas, fences, and other similar things.

A tan, or grayish color helps this lizard blend into surfaces like dirt, or tree trunks. Ornate tree lizards that are male have blue patches on their abdomen, while females lack this trait.

This species comes in a variety of colors, with some having orange or blueish dewlaps. A dark mottled pattern covers their body. Spike-like scales protrude from body parts like their tails, or back.

Insects make up the majority of this species’ diet. A very common species ornate tree lizards are a species of “least concern”, and can even breed up to 6 times a year.

9. Long-tailed Brush Lizard

Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Urosaurus graciosus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.25 to 4.5 in. (5.7 to 11.43 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Western long-tailed brush lizards inhibit Nevada, and other areas in the southwestern United States. The Mojave and Sonoran desserts are where you can find this species. They are common near trees, or shrubs in desert habitats.

Slender and nimble, the long-tailed brush lizard has a tan, to grayish coloring. Along with their long tails, they also have long toes that help them climb. Long-tailed brush lizards may have a dark crossbar pattern on them, and a dark brown line running down their sides.

In early summer around one to two clutches are laid, of up to 10 eggs. These lizards use their slender bodies to squeeze into small crevices to find food or hide. Bees, termites, spiders, and other insects are what this species eats.

10. 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 Nevada. This lizard lives in the Mojave and Great Basin deserts in North America. They prefer riparian woods, desert flats, and low-sloped habitats. Yellow-backed spiny lizards are active in the spring to fall months and hibernate in the winter.

Yellow-backed spiny lizards have small robust bodies. Males are larger and also have a swollen tail base. Females have pale markings on their bellies, and under their necks, while males have blue markings. Brown, and tan, with yellow and black stripes, are the colors of this species.

In the morning this lizard species bask in the sun and avoids the hottest time by burrowing underground. Yellow-backed spiny lizards forage and ambush prey like beetles, spiders, ants, and other small invertebrates.

11. Western Fence Lizard

Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)
Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Sceloporus occidentalis
  • Other Names: Blue-belly lizard
  • Adult Size: 4 to 7.5 in. (10 to 19 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 5 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

The western fence lizard is a very common species in Nevada, and other states including Idaho, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon, and Mexico. You can find this species in a variety of habitats including grasslands, forests, farmlands, and urban areas.

Western fence lizards are medium-sized and have brown or gray coloring. They have a white, or yellow underside. Males have bright blue patches on their bellies and sides. White, tan, dark, orange, or blue markings cover them. The scales of this species are roughly keeled which is helpful in identifying them.

Habitat loss is one of the main reasons western fence lizards have been losing their population, but their population is still stable. Active during the day, you can find this lizard sitting on fences, rocks, and in sunny locations. Breeding occurs in spring, and females lay up to 17 eggs. Burrows are used to laying eggs, and they begin to hatch in the fall.

12. Plateau Fence Lizard

Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Sceloporus tristichus
  • Other Names: Pine lizard
  • Adult Size: 4 to 7.5 in. (10 to 19 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 5 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a 

Platuea fence lizards live in Nevada and are found in rocky shrublands, near canyons, and in other open areas. They are common in wooded, and rocky areas, and enjoy climbing on things like trees, fences, and larger rocks.

Gray, brown, or tan is the color of this species. They have very keeled scales, with dark bands going down them. Plateau fence lizards have a coloring that helps them blend into trees or dirt.

Plateau fence lizards are not active during the cold, or hot times of the day. They spend their time actively feeding on spiders, and insects, and chasing down other invertebrates.

13. Common Sagebrush Lizard

Sagebrush Lizard
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Sceloporus graciosus
  • Other Names: Sagebrush swift
  • Adult Size: 2 to 5.9 in. (5 to 14.98 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The common sagebrush lizard is a species found in the western United States. They can be found in Nevada, and are often more common in mid, or high altitudes. Shrbulands, forests, woodlands, and rocky outcrops are common places this lizard lives.

Tan is the color of this lizard, and they have roughly keeled scales. Darker black, or brown marks appear on their backs. Their toes are long, with sharp claws. Males, like other lizards, have blue coloring on the sides of their belly.

Common sagebrush lizards are secretive and hide in places like burrows, crevices, or vegetation when frightened. They are active during the day, and in winter become inactive.

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

The zebra-tailed lizard lives in Nevada and is found in open desert habitats. They are named after their curled tail, which has black and white bands on it. Males may have blue splotches on their sides, and the base coloring of this species is black.

Zebra-tailed lizards are active during the day and rest in the hottest part of the. They are very quick and are capable of running on their hind legs. To escape the sun or predators this lizard hides within desert plant life.

Predators of this lizard include birds, larger lizards, and small mammals. They are active mostly in the summer.

15. 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: 3 to 7 in. (7.62 to 17.78 cm.)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The Mojave fringe-toad lizard is a species found in Nevada and other parts of the western United States. This species lives in deserts, hillsides, and sandy habitats They may live up to 3,000 ft. above sea level, and are active during the day.

These lizards are tan, with black coloring. They have very granular skin, and their coloring helps them blend into the sandy desert habitat. Their bellies are white, with black markings appearing on them.

Mojave fringe-toad lizards are not active in the winter and bury themselves. They feed on small invertebrates like beetles, ants, and grasshoppers. This lizard is sighted most in spring and summer.

16. 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

Desert horned lizards are found in both the Sonoran, and Mojave desserts. These lizards live in various desert habitats and are active in the warmer periods of the year. In burrows they built, or other animals made is where this lizard species often hides out.

Desert horned lizards are smaller, to medium-sized, and are covered in small spikes. They have a tan dirt-like coloring, and their bodies look similar to thorn scrub. A diet of small insects and worms is what this lizard eats. They may wait near places like ant hills, and ambush prey.

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

Greater short-horned lizards are found in central Nevada and are common in the central United States. This species is found in semiarid plains and high-elevation mountain ranges. They prefer places with rocky, or loose soil. This lizard’s tolerance to cold makes them able to live in higher elevations than other lizards.

This lizard has a tan, to orangish coloring. They have oval bodies, with spikes covering them. The heads of this species are wide, and their tails are short. Small spikes come out of this lizard’s head, sides, and tail.

Greater short-horned lizards are ambush predators. They sneak up on their prey using their coloring, which works as camouflage.

18. Pygmy Short-horned Lizard

Pygmy Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma douglasii)
Pygmy Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma douglasii)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Phrynosoma douglasii
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 1 to 3 in. (2.5 to 6.5 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Nevada is home to the pygmy short-horned lizard, which is a species native to the northwestern United States. This lizard lives in woodlands, deserts, and open forest habitats. They prefer sandy soils and are active during the day.

The pygmy short-horned lizard has tan coloring, with spikes covering its entire body. They are very plump, with a round body. This lizard looks similar to the greater short-horned lizard but is slightly smaller.

The spikes that cover this lizard are useful in warding off predators, and making them less palatable. Pygmy short-horned lizards are able to squirt blood from their eyes, useful for warding animals like dogs. 

19. 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

Western Skinks are found across Nevada and are also found in other states within the western U.S. This lizard lives in dry areas like deserts, rocky habitats, or dry forests. They do not like areas with heavy brush, or thick vegetation, but may sometimes live in grasslands.

Western skinks when young have bright blue tails, which are darker with age. They have a slender bodies, with smooth scales. Tan or brown coloring appears on them, and they have stripes going down their body.

Active in the day, western skinks are more commonly spotted in the warmer time of the year. They feed on invertebrates and must survive predators like snakes, birds of prey, and carnivorous mammals.

20. Gilbert’s Skink

Gilbert’s Skink (Plestiodon gilberti)
Gilbert’s Skink (Plestiodon gilberti)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • 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 Gilberts skink is a species native to the southwestern United States. This species can be found in a small range within the southern corner of Nevada. Gilbert’s skinks live from sea level to 7,200 ft. above elevation. They are common in deserts and open dry habitats.

This skin is medium-sized, with greenish, olive, tan, or gay color. Younger specimens have stripes on them, which fade with age. Gilbert’s skink hides under rocks, logs, vegetation, or in burrows. They prefer areas with lots of places for them to hide to stay hidden.

21. Mediterranean House Gecko

Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
  • Experience Level: Beginners
  • Family: Gekkonidae
  • Scientific Name: Hemidactylus turcicus
  • Other Names: Moon Lizard, Turkish Gecko
  • Adult Size: 4 to 5 in. (10 to 13 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 9 years
  • Average Price Range: $10

Nevada is one area where the Mediterranean house gecko is common, as this lizard is native to the southwestern United States. Urban areas near homes, or even schools are common areas this lizard lives. They live in shrublands, and coastlands, and hide within vegetation.

 The skin of this lizard is very granular and has a tan or brown coloring. Mottled dark and light markings cover them. Like other geckos, they have large elliptical eyes and padded feet.

This Gecko species is active at night and is often seen on walls looking for food. They are attracted to lighted areas such as under porches, as these places get lots of insect traffic.

22. 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 native to North America, found in the southwestern United States, and northwestern Mexico. This species can be seen in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. Open arid deserts, desert grasslands, hillsides, and rocky regions are where this lizard lives.

Western banded geckos are medium-lengthed, with a small body. They have small toes and bulky tails. They are tan, or cream coloring, with dark brown bands, and blotches on them.

Western geckos are common in the summer, often seen crossing the desert landscape. To protect itself from predators, if frightened its tails can detach, but will regrow. Matting occurs twice a year, and small invertebrates and insects are how this lizard sustains itself.

23. Western Whiptail

Western Whiptail
Western Whiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Teiidae
  • Scientific Name: Aspidoscelis tigris
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 9.8 to 13.7 in. (25 to 35 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The western whiptail lizard is a species found in the southwestern United States. There are around 16 subspecies of this lizard, some of which inhabit Nevada. Western whiptails have grainy scales, with slender bodies. They have a tan or orangish coloring that helps them blend into the desert habitat.

Western whiptails live in burrows and are active during the day. While not typically out during the hottest period of the day, they are diurnal and enjoy basking in the sun. Western whiptails are also found in forests and open dry habitats.

These lizards are common, and have stable populations, mating once per year in the summer. Insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates are what this spider eats.

24. Great Basin Whiptail

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

There are several types of whiptail lizards that live in Nevada, and the Great Basin whiptail is just one of many you may find. This species lives in desert, sagebrush, woodlands, and riparian habitats. They are often seen in the Great Basin Desert, which is one of the two great deserts in the state.

Great Basin whiptails are slender, with tan, coloring. Dark blotches cover their body, and four faint stripes cover their back that fades with age. The tip of their tail is dark, or bluish, and their throat is pale with dark spots.

The day is when this lizard is active. Females lay their eggs in late summer and early fall. This lizard is common, with a stable population.

25. 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 a lizard species that lives in grasslands, and scrub habitats. This species is native to Nevada and is also seen in other western regions of the United States.

Plateau striped whiptails have dark brown, or black coloring, with light stripes running across them. They have a pointed noses, with large and thin back feet. Spring and summer are the best times to spot this species out in the wild.

Traveling in highly vegetated areas, or rocky places are common areas this lizard is found. Plateau striped whiptail lizards are active during the day time, and feed on insects, and other invertebrates they find.

26. Panamint Alligator Lizard

  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Anguidae
  • Scientific Name: Elgaria panamintina
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2 to 5 in. (5 to 12.7 cm.)
  • Lifespan: 7 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The western United States, in places like Nevada, is where the Panamint alligator lizard lives. Riparian and rocky desert habitats are where these prefer to be. They often live near water sources like rivers, or springs, in places with dense vegetation. Panamint alligator lizards typically live at elevations between 2,500 to 7,500 ft. above sea level.

Panamint alligator lizards are medium-sized with slender bodies. They have bands going across them, with tan, and cream coloring. The underside of this species is pale, with gray speckled spots.

The daytime is when these lizards are active, and they hunt for small invertebrates during this period. Panamint alligator lizards have prehensile tails useful for assisting in getting around. They may hide in plants, or under rocks.

27. 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

The desert night lizard lives in semi-arid habitats. It is common for this lizard to hide in vegetation and natural debris like rocks. This species is often found in Yuca plants but also uses other similar vegetation as a home.

Small in size, desert night lizards have a yellowish, or tan color. They have granular skin and are covered in a black mottled pattern. The color of this lizard changes from light olive to tan, depending on the time of day.

With their great climbing ability desert night lizards spend their time hunting for prey like ants or termites.

Common questions about Nevada lizards

Are there venomous lizards in Nevada?

In Nevada, the Gila monster is the only venomous lizard in its region. This lizard species is one of two venomous lizards in total that live in North America. Gila monsters do not inject venom with fangs like a snake but have grooved teeth used to chew and release venom. This lizard’s venom is rarely life-threatening to humans but can cause symptoms like redness, dizziness, vomiting, and swelling.

What is the largest lizard in Nevada?

Gila monsters are the largest lizard species in Nevada. Adults usually grow around 22 inches when they mature. These lizards are bulky, with black and orange coloring,  a bumpy bodies. This species is also the largest lizard in the entire United States.

What time of year are lizards in Nevada active most?

A lizard’s activity varies depending on the species, and time of year. Most lizards are active during the day and enjoy warm summer days. Other species like geckos are active mainly at night. In Nevada, the months from spring to fall are when lizards are active, and they hibernate in the winter.

Wrapping up

There are around 27 lizard species that live in Nevada. Lizards are important to the environments they inhabit since they feed on small invertebrates like insects, and are also used for food by animals like birds. To humans and pets, these reptiles are harmless.

If you know when and where to look, lizards can be fun to find in the wild. There are several species of lizards that are common in Nevada. Learning about the different types can make it easier to identify the ones you come across near your house, or in the wild.

Lizards in other nearby states

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