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Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Lizards Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)

General Description: Desert Iguanas are large, light-colored lizard with a long tail and a small head. The back is variously spotted and striped, while the tail is barred.

Taxonomy: Iguana Family (Iguanidae).

Technical Description: A large (total length 12 to 16 in.), pale, round bodied lizard with a long tail and a relatively small head. The overall body color is light: cream colored with a brownish net-like pattern and gray or whitish spots on the head and neck. A row of slightly enlarged scales can be seen on the midline of the dorsum. This species can be recognized from other species of large lizards in southern Nevada by the light coloration (other species would be dark colored or would have dark markings) and the enlarged mid-dorsal scales.

Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)

Diet: Primarily eats vegetation such as creosote bush flowers, sand verbena flowers, and other shrubs, flowers, and fruit. Also eats carrion and insects.

Habitat: Creosote-Bursage Flats and Mojave Desert Scrub habitat types with sandy hummocks, mesquite, and salt desert scrub habitats, also rocky stream beds, bajadas, and rocky hills below 5,000 ft elevation.

Range: Southwestern deserts from southern Nevada southward into western Mexico. In Nevada, the range of this species is similar to that of its principal food: the creosote bush, and in Clark County, this species is widespread in lower-elevation sandy habitats.

Desert Iguana

Breeding:

Similar Species: No other lizard in our area has this white with black pattern.

Comments: Tolerant of hot weather, these lizards can remain active and above ground on hot days after other species seek cooler temperatures underground.

Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) If you were a tasty leaf or a flower petal, this might be the last face you ever see!
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguanas can dig their own burrows, here in a sand dune
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguana at the entrance to its burrow
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
The one that got away seems to have a big grin on her face!
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguana blending in with the sand and sticks
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguana blending in with the sand and sticks
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Basking in the morning sun at burrow entrance
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) Desert Iguana
Desert Iguana
Typical habitat
Desert Iguana
Typical habitat
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Crest of elongated scales (black arrow), as seen in other iguanas
more to come...
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguana scat
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguana scat
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguana scat contains plant parts
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguana scat contains plant parts
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120907

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