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Northern Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus graciosus)
aka Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Lizards Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Northern Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus graciosus)

General Description: These are the common little (5-6 in. total length) gray or tan lizards in sagebrush and mountainous areas with light dorsal stripes and blue bellies. These are "spiny lizards" and look similar to Western Fence Lizards, but the scales are relatively small and smooth compared to other "spiny lizards." The armpits are rust colored, they have white behind the legs (not yellow or orange). Males have light blue belly and throat patches. The ventral color is light tan or cream (not dark gray).

Taxonomy: Phrynosomatid Lizard Family (Phrynosomatidae).

Northern Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus graciosus)
Breeding male on Mt. Charleston

Technical Description: Size small; head and body 2- to 2.5-inches. Base color gray or brown. Dorsum with darker blotches or crossbars; light gray or tan stripe running down the center of the back, plus two light stripes, one running down each side of the back. Shoulder with black line. Armpit, neck, and sides of body with rusty red. Dorsal scales weakly keeled, pointed. Rear and underside of legs white (not yellow or orange). Dorsal scales numerous, small, spiny (scale count between interparietals and rear of the thigh is 42-68). Scales on rear of thighs mostly granular; femoral pores present.

Males: Enlarged postanals. Base of tail swollen. Ventral patches blue edged with black. Throat patch light blue with white or pink flecks. Dorsal scales with blue-green flecks.

Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Dorsal pattern is stripes and irregular spots

Females: Little or no blue on the belly and throat.

Diet: Beetles, flies, ants, caterpillars, aphids, other insects and spiders, ticks, and mites.

Habitat: Primarily middle and higher elevations in our area. Occurs with Side-blotched Lizards and Western Fence Lizard higher elevations. As their name implies, Sagebrush Lizards are predominately found in sagebrush cover, but they can also be found in greasewood and other desert shrubs and sometimes on small rocky outcrops. Sagebrush Lizards are usually found at higher elevations than Western Fence Lizards and may even be found in juniper-pine woodlands with brushy understory. Ground dweller. Uses rodent burrows, shrubs, logs, and similar places for cover.

Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Note: black bar on the shoulder

Range: These are lizards of the sagebrush country, occurring from eastern Washington to Wyoming, south almost to southern Nevada (to the south edge of the Nevada Test Site), Northern Arizona, and northwestern New Mexico.

Breeding: Mate in the spring and lay 2-7 eggs from June to August. Eggs hatch in August.

Similar Species: Western Fence Lizard: larger size, scales keeled; ventral surfaces of legs yellow to orange (not white); armpits, sides of body without rust color.

Comments:

Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) The dorsal scales are uniform in size. Compare these with the dorsal scales on a tree lizard, with which these lizards can be confused when they don't have the typical striped dorsal pattern.
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) The color behind the leg is white (not yellow or orange), and the scales are small and granular (not spiny).
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush lizard and sagebrush
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Typical view: sagebrush lizard on lookout post
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 130915

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