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Collard Lizard


Crotaphytus bicinctores
A medium-sized (up to 108 mm or 4.25″ from snout to vent), plump-bodied lizard with a large head and two distinct, black collar markings on the neck. On males the front collar completely encircles the neck. Coloration is usually gray-brown with faint, soft-edged, yellow or orange crossbands. The feet and limbs are often tinted with yellow-orange and the back is usually marked with many white or cream colored dots. This pattern reverses on the tail and hind limbs becoming gray-brown dots on a light background. The underside is plain and pale. The scales are small and granular. The tail is taller than it is wide distinguishing this lizard from the similar Eastern Collared Lizard and Sonoran Collared Lizard. Males have dark blue-gray to black patches on the throat and groin and a pale stripe running down the top of the tail. Females are duller in color and have orange markings on the sides when gravid.

DISTRIBUTION: This lizard is distributed across our northwestern deserts and western deserts north of the Gila River. In our state it occurs at elevations ranging from about 700′ to over 6,500′.

HABITAT: Primarily an inhabitant of Sonoran Desertscrub, Mohave Desertscrub, Great Basin Desertscrub, and Great Basin Grassland. Also enters Interior Chaparral and Great Basin Conifer Woodland communities in some areas. Frequents hillsides, canyons, and slopes with numerous large rocks. Infrequently encountered on relatively flat terrain lacking large rocks.

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