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Desert Horned Lizard Phrynosoma platyrhinos


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Desert Horned Lizard
credit: Eugene Van der Pijil

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Family: Phrynosomatidae, Earless and Horned Lizards view all from this family

Description Flat-body with one row of fringed scales down the sides. One row of slightly enlarged scales on each side of the throat. Beige, tan, or reddish dorsum with contrasting, wavy blotches of darker color. Two dark blotches on the neck that are very prominent and are bordered posteriorly by a light white or gray color. Pointed scales on back of the body. Juveniles are similar to adults, but have shorter and less-pronounced cranial spines.

Dimensions 7.6-13.6cm. (3-5 3/8")

Subspecies Northern Desert Horned Lizard - Belly speckled and tail is rounded. Oregon, Idaho, Utah to Nevada.
Southern Desert Horned Lizard - Belly speckled, tail flattened. Nevada, Utah, Arizona to California and Baja California.

Breeding Breeds April-May. Lays 6-10 eggs. One clutch per year laid June/July.

Habitat Sandy or gravelly soiled arid areas.

Range Oregon, Idaho, California, Arizona to Mexico.

Discussion Diurnal. Uses camouflage to sit on rocks and bask. Relies on coloring to disguise it. Hides under bushes for cover. Will hiss and bite if threatened.