Common Collared Lizard

Common Collared Lizard   Crotaphytus collaris

Type of Animal:

Dry rocky areas, sagebrush, desert scrub, pinyon-juniper woodland, desert grassland, grassland, chaparral, desert, prairie, bunchgrass areas, canyons, slopes, gullies, mesa tops, open woodland, rocky outcroppings, dunes, hardwood forest, hilly areas, scrubland

SE Utah, S Colorado, Kansas, C & S Missouri, Arizona, New Mexico, W & C Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nevada, SE California, & parts of N Mexico

2 distinct collarlike black bands around neck/shoulders, large bulky head, males blue-green w/ light brown /gold head, small whitish-yellowish spots, & brightly colored throat (blue/green/orange), females light brownish/tan/light gray w/ some green-blue all over, both sexes have whitish belly, slender neck & long tail on both sexes, stripes along back, juveniles look like females except w/ reddish-yellowish crossbands

Grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, locusts, smaller lizards (including smaller members of own species), fruit, vegetables, small mammals, roaches, worms, insect larvae, berries, melons, legumes, herbs, leaves, spiders, small snakes, flowers, sow bugs, snails

Status in Wild:

Breeding from zoos & private breeders

Usually found in breeding quartets of a male w/ 3 females. Other males solitary. Juveniles found in small groups of their own.

Additional Info:


Male-2 oz
Female-1 oz

2 months

Life Span:
6-8 years in wild, up to 10 years in captivity

Body Length:
Male-9.84-13 in
Female-5.9-9 in

Tail Length:
3 in

Main predators are snakes, predatory birds, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, wolves, bears, cats, & larger lizards (including larger members of own species).

Males extremely territorial & will fight to the death.

Sometimes kept as pets.

Females lay 1-13 eggs per clutch in June (she can lay up to 3 clutches).

Sexually mature at 2 years.

Also called Common Collared Lizard, Oklahoma Collared Lizard, & Yellow-Headed Collared Lizard.

Sometimes hybridizes w/ Great Basin/desert collared lizards in areas where range overlaps.

Fun Fact(s):
State reptile of Oklahoma.

They can run up to 16 mph in short bursts on their hind legs.

If they lose their tail, it doesn’t grow back.

Sometimes called “mountain boomer”, which may trace to settlers during the Gold Rush mistaking the sound of wind in canyons for calls of these lizards, even though they’re silent.

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