A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

Collared Lizards in California - genus Crotaphytus


observation link


Collard lizards are medium-sized, diurnal, rock-dwelling desert lizards with large heads and a dark collar around the neck. They are usually seen sitting on top of rocks. Typically, they will run away quickly when approached, then return to their spot after a few minutes. Occasionally you will see them running on the ground, usually between large rocks.

Two species of collared lizards are found in California with no overlap in range.
Check the range maps below to determine which one is in your area.

Great Basin Collared Lizard
- Crotaphytus bicinctores

lizard lizard lizard
lizard lizard Great Basin Collared Lizard
  Female orange breeding colors  
Distribution of Crotaphytus bicinctores - Great Basin Collared Lizard

Baja California Collared Lizard
- Crotaphytus vestigium

lizard lizard lizard
lizard lizard Baja California Collared Lizard
Distribution of Crotaphytus vestigium - Baja California Collared Lizard in California

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