A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

Click on a picture for a larger view

Large Spiny Lizards in California - genus Sceloporus

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, the transverse ranges, and their desert slopes where it is sympatric with the Desert Spiny Lizard in a small area.

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

Desert Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus magister
desert spiny lizard lizard desert spiny lizard
lizard desert spiny lizard desert spiny lizard
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

Home Site Map About Us Identification Lists Maps Photos More Lists CA Snakes CA Lizards CA Turtles CA Salamanders CA Frogs
Contact Us Usage Resources Rattlesnakes Sounds Videos FieldHerping Yard Herps Behavior Herp Fun CA Regulations
Beyond CA All Herps

Return to the Top

 © 2000 -