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Long-nosed Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii)
Lizards Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
 
Large-Spotted Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii wislizenii)

General Description: These are fairly large lizards with a large head, long tail, and dark leopard spots on the back and tail.

Taxonomy: Collared and Leopard Lizard Family (Crotaphytidae).

Technical Description: Body size large (total length to 15 in.). Head proportionally large. Tail long and round. Dorsal color cream or tan with large, dark spots (leopard spots). Chin with rows of gray stripes. Ventral color white. During the breeding season, females develop orange-red spots and bars on the body and tail. Females generally larger than males.

Leopard Lizard

Diet: Omnivorous. Ambush predator. Feed on insects, crickets, grasshoppers, small rodents, lizards, and vegetation (e.g., berries, small leaves, and flowers).

Habitat: Primarily Mojave Desert Scrub and salt desert scrub; also found in blackbrush, sagebrush, and pinyon-juniper habitats (Lower Sonoran, Upper Sonoran , and Pinyon-Juniper life zones). Prefers hardpan, gravelly, or sandy open ground below 6,000 ft elevation where vegetation is sparse or in small clumps and it can run to hunt and escape predators.

Large-Spotted Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii wislizenii)

Range: This species is widely distributed throughout the western U.S. from Oregon to Texas southward into Mexico. This subspecies occurs throughout the entire range except for in the central valley of California.

Breeding: One clutch of 1-11 eggs laid in early summer.

Similar Species: No other species in southern Nevada has leopard spots.

Large-Spotted Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii wislizenii) Comments: These lizards are fast and can run on their hind legs to capture prey or escape predators. If you try to catch one, expect to get bit. And if you get bit, expect it to hurt and leave a mark. Of course, a Leopard Lizard on your finger is an easy lizard to photograph.
Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii)
Female in breeding colors
Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii)
Leopard Lizard
Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii) Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii)
Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii)
Leopard Lizard in Death Valley
Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii)
Leopard Lizards have very long tails

 
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
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© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 130918

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