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Desert Spiny Lizard Sceloporus magister


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Desert Spiny Lizard
credit: Kaldari

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

Description Changing their color so they are darker during cool times, which allows them to absorb more heat from the sun, and become lighter during warm times so they reflect more solar radiation. Brownish/yellow with triangular mark on each shoulder. Throat and belly have blue patches.

Dimensions 17.8-30.5cm. (7-12")

Warning Will bite if picked up. Its bite is not venomous.

Subspecies Purple-backed Spiny Lizard - purple/black band on back of males. Arizona to Mexico.
Twin-spotted Spiny Lizard - 2 rows of spots down back of males. Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and into Mexico.
Barred Spiny Lizard - Distinct crossbands on males. California to Nevada.
Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard - Yellowish/tan on males. Nevada, Utah, Arizona to San Joaquin Valley, California.
Orange-headed Spiny Lizard - Chevron shaped bard on males. Utah, Colorado, New Mexico to Arizona.

Breeding Breeds spring/summer. 7-19 eggs in a clutch, laid May-July. Hatch after 8-11 weeks. Sometimes more than 1 clutch per season.

Habitat Arid to semi-arid regions.

Range Nevada to Baja California, Arizona, New Mexico into Texas.

Discussion Dirunal. The spiny lizard spends most of the day inactive in burrows. Burrows are much cooler than temperatures on the ground's surface. Will climb trees to search for prey. Diet mainly of insects.