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Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister)

Desert Spiny Lizards are medium sized, heavy bodied lizards which reach lengths of 12 inches (including the tail). Their bodies are yellow to brown with many light spots and dark crossbands. Adult males have blue throat patch. They have a distinctive black triangle-shaped mark on side of neck and a whitish underbelly.

Natural History

The Desert Spiny Lizard is found throughout the western US. They live mainly in arid and semi-arid desert, grassland, and dry woodland areas where vegetation and rocks provide good cover from predators. The lizards are are great climbers and are sometimes found high above the ground in trees.

The head of the female Desert Spiny Lizard turns orange during breeding season.

These lizards can often be found hanging out on large rocks basking in the sun or looking for food. They primarily eat insects, but will also consume other lizards and plant matter. Breeding occurs in early summer and females lay 7-19 eggs in mid-summer. Hatchlings emerge 8-11 weeks later.

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