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Western Long-tailed Brush Lizard
(Urosaurus graciosus graciosus)

aka Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
Lizards Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)

General Description: A small lizard with a proportionally very long tail. The body color is gray with dark crossbars, similar to the color of the branches in the creosote bushes where they live. They also have a brown line down the side that helps them blend into the branches. When hiding, these lizards align their thin body with a branch, and will skitter around to the backside of the branch.

Taxonomy: Phrynosomatid Lizard Family (Phrynosomatidae).

Diet: Insects and spiders, occasionally plant material.

Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)

Technical Description: Body size small (to 2.25 in.); tail proportionally very long (to 4.5 in.). Dorsum gray with dark crossbars. When captured, may change to pale beige in 5 minutes. A pale lateral stripe extends from the jaw, down the neck, and onto the body. Dorsum with a broad band of enlarged scales down the center of the back. Gular fold well developed. Throat red, orange, or yellow. Males with pale blue or green patches flecked with white on the sides of the belly.

Habitat: Low desert Creosote-Bursage Flats with sandy areas. Climbs into the branches of Creosote Bush; uses creosote branches and exposed roots for shelter.

Range: This species occurs in the southern tip of Nevada, southeastern California, western Arizona, and south into northern Mexico. This subspecies occurs in the western half of the range, including California, Nevada, and western-most Arizona.

Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)

Breeding: One or two clutches of 2 to 10 eggs laid during early summer.

Similar Species: This species resembles a Tree Lizard, but no other small, dark lizard in our area has such a long tail.

Comments: These lizards hide in their creosote bushes by turning head-down and aligning their body with the branch they are on. Remaining still, they blend in with the branches, making it very difficult to see them.

Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus) Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
Notice white belly; small, granular scales; and gular fold
Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
Notice the enlarged scaled down the center of the back
Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
Notice the typical head-down hiding stance
Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
Running up a telephone pole
Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
Long-tailed Brush Lizard with a great place to hide
Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
Long-tailed Brush Lizard hiding in a crack in a telephone pole
Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
Typical habitat for Long-tailed Brush Lizards is open desert with sandy areas and scattered Creosote Bush.
more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120910

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