CaliforniaHerps.com

A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California





Large Spiny Lizards

 







Similar Species:

Fence Lizard
Sagebrush Lizard





observation link

 

Large lizards with large visible scales. Found in desert and semi-arid habitats, and in coastal Southern California.
Usually seen on rocks or trees. Active in the daytime.

Three species of large Spiny Lizards are found in California. Check the range maps to see which one is in your area
The Yellow-backed Spiny Lizards occurs in the Mohave and Great Basin deserts and in the interior south coast ranges.
The Desert Spiny Lizard occurs mainly in the Sonoran Desert area.
The Granite Spiny Lizard occurs in coastal Southern California and the transverse ranges and their desert slopes where it is sympatric with the Desert Spiny Lizard in some areas.

Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus  uniformis
lizard yellow-backed spiny lizard lizard
lizard yellow-backed spiny lizard yellow-backed spiny lizard
map

Desert Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus magister
desert spiny lizard lizard desert spiny lizard
lizard desert spiny lizard desert spiny lizard
map 
 
Granite Spiny Lizard  - Sceloporus orcutti
Found in rocky coastal semi-arid and desert habitats, usually seen on large boulders. Diurnal.

Granite Spiny Lizard Male Granite Spiny Lizard Granite Spiny Lizards
lizard Male Granite Spiny Lizard© Mike X Macrae Granite Spiny Lizard© Amber Carson
Granite Spiny Lizard Range Map
 

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