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Common Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Lizards Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Common Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)

General Description: Common Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) are fast, light-colored lizards are found in open sandy and open gravel areas. They have a banded tail that they often wave in the air, and the bands completely encircle the tail.

Taxonomy: Phrynosomatid Lizard Family.

Technical Description: Light-colored lizards to about 8 in. (20 cm) total length. The overall color is tan to light brown with two dark bars on the side of body near midbody. The tail has black bands the completely encircle the tail (compare to earless lizards). The head is wedge-shaped, and the scales are fine and smooth. Zebra-tails have external ear openings present (compare with earless lizards). In breeding season, Zebra-tails get a yellow wash with a bit of orange on the dewlap.

Common Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)

 

Zebra-tails look similar to Earless Lizards (which occur in Arizona). In Zebra-tails, the black bands completely encircle the tail, while in earless lizards, the black bands are on the underside of the trail. Zebra-tails also have external ear openings, which earless lizards do not.

Diet: Carnivorous, eating mostly insects, spiders (arthropods in general), some plant material, and occasionally other lizards.

Habitat: Washes, sandy areas, and open gravel flats with few plants where they can escape predators by digging into the sand and then dating quickly away when necessary.

Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)

Range: Southern and western Nevada, southeastern California, southern Arizona, and northern Mexico. Look for Zebra-tails at Death Valley NP, Lake Mead NRA and in southern Gold Butte National Monument.

Comments: These lizards often curl their tail upward (revealing bold black and white barring) and waves it side-to-side before running. Also holds tail up when running. Curling the tail up may cause predators to attack their tail, which comes off, allowing the lizard to escape.

Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) If you were a tasty bug or a little fly, this might be the last face you ever see!
Zebra-tail Lizard
Breeding female
Common Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Note black and white bands on tail
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard on a sand dune
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard male
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard female
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard female
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Even sand-loving Zebra-tailed Lizards like a good lookout perch
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra tail on lookout
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Catching lizards with a noose ensures the tail is not damaged
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Hatchling or juvenile
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170529

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