22 Different Types of Lizards in Nevada

Lizards in Nevada
Photo by Joni Tuohimaa on Pexels

Which lizard species can you find in Nevada? There are different species of lizards in Nevada, and they also exist in the United States, which astounded me.

Some species are localized to a small area, while others are dispersed over vast distances.

Today, you’ll discover those different lizards in Nevada.

Let’s go! 

1. Common Side Blotched Lizard

Common side-blotched lizards are one of the lizards in Nevada. Males of the common side-blotched lizard can reach a length of 2.4 inches (6 cm) from their snout to their vent, while females grow to a smaller size. 

Males can vary in pattern, with some having blue specks on their backs and tails and orange or yellow on their flanks.

Compared to males, females have duller stripes down their sides and backs. A patch is on the sides of both sexes.

2. Western Fence Lizard

Western Fence Lizard 
by Greg Schechter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Western fence lizard has a maximum length of 8.9 cm from the nose to the vent and a maximum length of 21 cm when the tail is included.

They range in color from brown to black; some have green coloring, vivid blue stomachs, and black lines down their backs. Their throat is blue, and the sides of their limbs are yellow.

Although these lizards in Nevada are primarily found in California, they can be found in various environments such as woodlands, sagebrush, and grasslands; they stay away from desert regions and are frequently observed near a steady water supply.

3. Yellow-Backed Spiny Lizard

With the tail removed, the yellow-backed spiny lizard is a big lizard that can reach a maximum length of 5.5 inches from its snout to its vent. The body is shorter than the tail.

They are sturdy brown or tan lizards with blue markings on their throats and bellies. Females lack blue on their bellies and have pale necks.

Additionally, females have an orange or red head during the breeding season.

These lizards prefer to live in semiarid plains, forests, and desert flats in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah.

They also like to live on low mountain slopes. These lizards in Nevada are both energetic foragers and ambush predators.

Due to their burrowing nature, they will spend the warmest part of the day below and emerge to bask on rocks and other hard surfaces during the day.

They hibernate in the winter and come out again in the early spring.

4. Western Whiptail Lizard

Western Whiptail Lizard
by CaliforniaDFW is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The body of the Western whiptail lizard is long and slim, with thin, grainy scales on the back and big scales on the belly. Their throats are pink to orange, and they have faint stripes.

Their entire length grows to about 12 inches when the tail is included. The body is shorter than the tail.

They live in woodlands or deserts, where they burrow to avoid the midday heat. They favor hotter, drier climates with less vegetation.

5. Long-Nosed Leopard Lizard

With brown or dark gray patches on its head and body, the long-nosed leopard lizard is either white, cream, or gray. On their backs and tails, some have dark bars.

The size of the male and female varies; the male grows to 4.8 inches (12cm), while the female grows to 5.8 inches (15cm).

Both these lizards in Nevada can color shift, with the lighter crossbars becoming more noticeable while any spots are hidden in dark phases. In the phase of light, the opposite happens.

Males get a rusty or pinkish throat and breast during the breeding season, while females get red or orange patches with bars on their sides when gravid.

They favor semi-arid habitats with bunch grass, sagebrush, and sparse vegetation. Where they can enjoy the sun, they prefer sand and rocks.

They can frequently be seen sunbathing on little pebbles at the side of the road.

These lizards in Nevada are energetic hunters who are out and about all day. As a defense tactic, they can freeze, flattening their bodies and not moving until the threat has passed.

6. Zebra Tailed Lizard

Zebra-tailed lizards, with vegetation, hard-packed dirt, and sporadic boulders, can be seen in the open desert.

Their sandy-brown color helps them blend in with their surroundings. They reach a maximum length of around four inches (10.2 cm) from snout to vent.

They frequently have crossbands on their tails and patches on their backs. On their sides, males have black patches that become blue on their bellies.

The bands on females are either absent or very faint, and they lack any blue.

These are lively, extremely aware lizards in Nevada. Feeling threatened, they dart quickly, covering their backs with their tails to reveal the stripes beneath.

7. Common Chuckwalla Lizard

Common Chuckwalla Lizard
by Adventures with E&L is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The flat-bodied, round-bellied common chuckwalla has a blunt-tipped tail. It can reach a maximum length of 20 inches and a weight of two pounds, making it a massive lizard in Nevada as well.

Males have a tan body with brown specks and a black head, shoulder, and pelvic area.

Females have brown patches dotted with dark red. Four or five bands cover a juvenile’s body; these bands become softer with age. 

A few females might still have their juvenile bands. They tend to flee between rocks in the event of a threat and are absolutely harmless to people.

8. Desert Collared Lizard

Desert Collared Lizard
by grantavebc is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Desert Collared Lizard is next on our list of lizards in Nevada. Native to the western United States, the desert-collared lizard is also called the Great Basin collared lizard.

Females tend to be blacker or darker in color, while males are brown to orange with red or pink undersides.

Instead of being rounded, their tail is triangular in shape. Their heads are enormous, and they have big hind legs with neck bands made of black.

Adult males grow to a length of 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) from snout to vent and have a dark-colored throat. The length of their tails is double that of their bodies.

They can be found in rocky areas, desert scrub, and desert wash habitats and are more common in arid desert regions.

9. Common Sagebrush Lizard

Common Sagebrush Lizard
by gilaman2 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Located in high altitudes throughout the western United States, the common sagebrush lizard is a member of the spiny lizard family.

Though they have finer scales and are smaller, they resemble the Western fence lizard in appearance.

They usually have a tan or gray color with two light stripes, one on each side and a tan or gray stripe running down the middle of their backs.

Their length from snout to vent can reach up to 3.5 inches (8.9 cm).

The belly and throat of males are blue, whereas females’ bellies are yellow or white. It is known that males will turn orange in color during the breeding season.

They are frequently found in woodlands, forests, and shrublands. These lizards in Nevada spend much of their time on the ground, basking on logs and rocky outcrops.

They’ll climb to get away from predators. They are easily scared. Therefore, their first line of defense is to run. They have a history of acting lifeless.

10. Arid Iguana

Arid Iguana
by mcoughlin is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

These medium-sized lizards in Nevada can reach a maximum length of 16 inches (41 cm), including the tail.

Their back and flanks have a light brown pattern contrasting their gray-to-tan coloring. Their tails are striped, and they have a row of larger dorsal scales on their backs.

During mating season, their tails, which have a pale belly and reddish sides, are at least 1.5 times longer than their bodies.

They live in woodlands, scrub, and rocky stream beds, and they particularly like sandy desert scrubland. 

They can tolerate extremely high temperatures, and you can see them after all the other lizards in Nevada have fled the heat. If they perceive a threat, they will flee and dig a tunnel.

11. Western Banded Gecko

Western Banded Gecko
by Greg Schechter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Including the tail, the Western banded gecko can reach a maximum size of 6 inches (15 cm). Their body is sandy in color, with crossbands that are darker.

They exude a smooth appearance. They can be found in various environments, such as creosote bush and sagebrush deserts.

12. House Gecko in the Mediterranean

House Gecko in the Mediterranean
by gailhampshire is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Common names include moon lizard, Turkish gecko, and Mediterranean house gecko.

In the United States, the Mediterranean house gecko has a moderate body and limb structure, a rounded head, and a cylindrical, depressed tail.

They have colors ranging from light brown to gray, and they frequently have some spotting and appear totally translucent.

These lizards in Nevada can be seen individually or in groups of no more than five. They are frequently seen hunting for food on exterior walls near lights.

13. Ornamental Tree Lizard

Ornamental tree lizard is also on our list of lizards in Nevada. From snout to bent, ornamental tree lizards can reach a length of 2.3 inches (5.9 cm).

Whereas females lack turquoise spots on their bellies, men do.

Males typically have a range of colors, sometimes having a full orange dewlap or a huge orange patch with a blue spot in the middle. Male orange-blue fish are typically more aggressive and possessive.

14. Mountain Short-horned Lizard

Mountain Short-horned Lizard
by FlaPack is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

They are known by two common names: Mountain short-horned lizard and Greater short-horned lizard.

Known by another name, mountain short-horned lizards, greater short-horned lizards are native to western North America. 

Although they are lizards, they are frequently referred to as horned toads. They are frequently confused with the small, short-horned pygmy lizard.

Since the pygmy short-horned lizard has taken over the habitats, the bigger short-horned lizards are now regarded as an endangered and separate species.

With a flat body and small spines on the skull, the greater short-horned lizards are larger than pygmy lizards, reaching up to 5 inches (12.7 cm) from snout to vent.

They have a snub nose and short legs. They have big dark patches on their backs and are either yellow, reddish-brown, or gray.

When they get hostile or feel threatened, their colors become more intense.

Compared to men, females are larger. Being a sit-and-wait predator, they primarily prey on ants, grasshoppers, and beetles and are not very active.

They conceal themselves to elude potential predators. They have been known to shoot blood out of their eyes when assaulted. These lizards in Nevada hardly ever hurl blood at anyone.

15. Arizona Night Lizard

Arizona night lizards are known by most as the desert night lizards. This lizard’s snout can extend up to 2.75 inches (7 cm). Their body and tails are approximately the same length.

They might be gray, olive, or yellow-brown in color. They are quite busy during the day and change color as dusk draws near.

They favor dry and semi-arid environments and are quite elusive while being skilled climbers.

16. Monster Gila

Gila Monsters
by CaliforniaDFW is licensed under CC BY 2.0

One of the venomous lizards in Nevada is the Gila Monster. As adults, they can reach lengths of over a foot and have a bulky, stocky appearance.

They have a black muzzle and a distinct orange-and-red pattern with bands of black and pink. Their skin appears beaded, and their tail is round, short, and plump.

Fortunately, you will hardly ever see or come across this lizard because it lives underground most of the time.

They are mostly active during the day. However, they can occasionally be seen at night after it has rained.

These lizards in Nevada will stand up on their hind legs, lift their heads, hiss, and open their lips if they feel threatened.

Then, in an attempt to frighten away any potential threats, they could lunge and snap.

The venom is thought to be somewhat poisonous and has the ability to kill people. Although their bites are said to be extremely painful, no one has died as a result of them.

Since they are a protected species, killing or capturing them requires the appropriate authorization.

17. Western Skink

Western Skink
by Ruth and Dave is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Western skink is next on our list of lizards in Nevada. The small-limbed, smoothly-scaled western skink has a maximum length of 8.25 inches, including its tail.

They spend much of the day tanning since they adore the sun. One will bite you if you catch it before it runs away.

Despite their extreme seclusion, these lizards are a common species that can be found in Arizona, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming.

Although they can be discovered on arid slopes, they are found in various habitats and are most commonly found in damp settings.

These lizards in Nevada are frequently found in areas with moist soil, such as grasslands, open pine forests, and juniper-sage woodlands.

A band extending past the rear legs and running from black to brown runs down the side of the skull of these skinks. The vivid blue tails of juveniles diminish with adulthood.

18. Mojave Fringe-toed lizard

Mojave Fringe-Toed Lizard
by Greg Schechter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Mojave fringe-toed lizard is a medium-sized, gray-white lizard that is typically found in the Mojave Desert’s sand dunes.

This smooth-skinned, flat-bodied lizard blends in with its environment thanks to its skin tone.

Their tails include dark stripes, and their belly has patches. During the breeding season, the dark patches on the belly turn pink.

19. Long-tailed Brush Lizard

Long-Tailed Brush Lizard
by Greg Schechter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

It is possible to see long-tailed brush lizards in Nevada, Arizona, California, and Mexico. Their tails, which are twice as long as their bodies, gave rise to their names.

They can virtually be seen on trees or in shrubs. Their tan or gray hue aids in their ability to blend in with the branches while they wait for their prey to pass.

Rather than creating burrows in the sand, these lizards are more arboreal, spending much of their time on the tips of trees.

20. Pygmy Short-Horned Lizard

Pygmy Short-Horned Lizard
by petechar is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

It is common to confuse the bigger short-horned lizard with the pygmy short-horned lizard. Their bodies are similar, with small, pointed scales surrounding the head and rear.

In the northwest of the United States, the pygmy short-horned lizard has nearly supplanted the bigger short-horned lizard in terms of habitat.

These lizards in Nevada have flat bodies and short pines on the head. They reach a maximum length of 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) from snout to vent.

They have huge spots on their backs, short legs, snub noses, and colors ranging from red and brown to gray and yellow. In times of threat, their colors become more intense.

21. Desert Horned Lizard

Desert Horned Lizard
by Bettina Arrigoni is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Large, pointed scales on the desert horned lizard serve to distinguish it from other horned lizard species. Their physique is large and level. 

These lizards in Nevada reach a maximum size of around 3.75 inches (9.5 cm), making them medium-sized lizards.

Their varied colors and a row of larger scales on the throat help them blend in with the sandy areas where they prefer to live. Their horns have a broad base.

22. Desert Spiny Lizard

Desert Spiny Lizard
by Grand Canyon NPS is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Desert Spiny Lizard is ending our list of lizards in Nevada. The belly and throats of the desert spiny lizards are speckled with blue and violet, while their sides and tails are either blue or green in color. 

Juveniles and females typically have dark patches on their backs and bellies instead of bright blue or green coloring.

Their maximum body length is 5.6 inches. In the winter, they get darker, which increases their ability to absorb solar heat.

The desert spiny lizard is best seen in the mornings while basking in the sun or on rocks; however, when the sun reaches its zenith during the day, it usually burrows underground.

They inhabit a variety of environments, including plains, low valleys, and grasslands, in addition to forests.

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