Sonoran Collared Lizard

Crotaphytus nebrius

Photo © by Jim Blaugh

Observed in March 2009 on the west slopes of the Estrella Mountains, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA.

Many specialists recognize three species of Collared Lizards that potentially may be found in parts of the Sonoran Desert. The Sonoran Collared Lizard shown here is found in the southwestern portions of Arizona, in the lower elevations of the Sonoran Desert and ranges south into Sonora. Its markings are the palest of the three. Length of adults excluding tail is usu. 10 cm. Large head is subtended by two black collar rings and the back has pale spots. Food is mainly arthropods and occasionally small lizards or other vertibrates.

The nominate species, Crotaphytus collaris, gets the name Eastern Collared Lizard. It is found in the northeastern and eastern portions of the Sonoran Desert. In the far western and northwestern portions of the Sonoran Desert the Great Basin Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus bicinctores) may be found which has a laterally flattened tail.

Crotaphytidae -- Collared Lizard Family

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Sonoran Desert Field Guide
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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009