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Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Lizards Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
 
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Notice the dark "side blotch"

Taxonomy: Phrynosomatid Lizard Family.

General Description: Side-blotched Lizards are the most common small lizards in desert areas around Las Vegas. Males and females look different, and they are highly variable among one another and especially during the breeding season, but all they have a black spot on the side of the body just behind the front legs.

Side-blotched Lizard
Breeding male

Technical Description: small (snout-vent length about 5.5 cm [2.25 in.]). The body color generally is brown with a small, but conspicuous, dark spot on the sides of the body just behind the front legs. There are a variety of dorsal patterns: blotched, speckled, and unpatterned. Males tend to be unpatterned, but speckled with blue during the breeding season. Females tend to have a row of dark blotches along each side of the back the converging in the middle of the back, also one row of blotches down the top of the tail. The belly color is gray (no blue). A narrow white stripe extends from the outside corner of each eye onto the shoulder. Scales on the back small and smooth, without keels or spines, and the gular fold is complete. Males have a swollen tail base and enlarged postanals.

Side-blotched Lizard

Diet: Insects, spiders, and other small bugs.

Habitat: This is the most common lizard in the southwest. They are found in from the low deserts the mountains, but generally are most common at middle elevations. They can be found on rocks, the lower branches of trees and shrubs, in debris near the ground.

Side-blotched Lizard
Arrow indicates complete gular fold. Note lack of blue on belly and yellow stripes on face of breeding male.

Range: Most of the western United States and northern Mexico.

Comments: These lizards lay eggs during spring and summer, with as many as seven clutches of eight eggs each. Young lizards are seen in the fall.

Side-blotched Lizard
Male Side-blotched Lizard in breeding colors
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Female: notice indistinct longitudinal stripes and bars on the tail
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Breeding male; Joshua Tree NP
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Male Side-blotched Lizard with breeding colors
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Pale lizard with yellow-orange highlights; Floor of Death Valley
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Pale lizard with yellow-orange highlights; Floor of Death Valley
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Male Side-blotched Lizard with breeding colors
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Female; typical dorsal pattern; Lake Mead NRA
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Pale female; Southern California, LA Basin
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Pale female; Southern California, LA Basin
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Pair of lizards; Southern California, LA Basin
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Pair of lizards; Southern California, LA Basin
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Pair of lizards; Southern California, LA Basin
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Uta on Desert Holly leaves in the bottom of Death Valley
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Female: no enlarged postanal scales
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Large scales on head
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana) Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana) Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana) Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana) Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana) Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana) Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
male
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
female
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana) Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Unusually red lizard from SE Utah
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Unusually red lizard from SE Utah
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana) Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana) Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Tucson, Arizona
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Tucson, Arizona
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Tucson, Arizona
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Tucson, Arizona
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Wickenburg, Arizona
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Wickenburg, Arizona
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Leadfield, Death Valley, California
Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Cottonwood Canyon, Gold Butte, Nevada

 
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
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© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 130905

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