• Long House in autumn

    Bandelier

    National Monument New Mexico

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  • Access by Shuttle Bus Only

    Through October 27, 2014 all access to the most visited part of the park, Frijoles Canyon, will be via a mandatory shuttle bus from the nearby community of White Rock from 9 AM - 3 PM daily. Private cars may drive in before 9 AM or after 3 PM. More »

Identification of Bandelier Reptiles - Lizards and Skinks

short-horned lizard

Photo by Sally King

SHORT-HORNED LIZARD (Phrynosoma douglassi)
Most common in the Pinon-Juniper Woodland. Readily identified by short horns on their heads and spines on their backs and sides. Coloration varies with landscape to permit best camouflage.

 
Eastern Fence Lizard

Photo by Sally King

EASTERN FENCE LIZARD (Sceloporus undulatus)
Very common in all but the highest elevations of the park. Multicolored backs with blue throats and flanks that increase in intensity during mating season (late spring - early summer). Can be seen basking in the sun on the walls of archeological sites or trail walls. Do something that looks like pushups when they feel threatened.
 
Great Plains Skink

Photo by Sally King

GREAT PLAINS SKINK (Eumeces obsoletus)
Uncommon but can be seen on the Main Loop Trail. Look similar to a lizard but have smaller legs and movement is undulating. Often found in areas where moisture collects like at base of walls or near the creek. Young skinks don't look at all like their parents. They are jet black with bright blue tails and a row of white spots on their chins.
 
collared lizard

Photo by Sally King

COLLARED LIZARD (Crotaphytus collaris)
Somewhat common in the Pinon-Juniper Woodland especially in wetter canyon areas. Notable black collar distinguishes them from other lizards.
 
chihuahua whiptail

Photo by Sally King

CHIHUAHUA WHIPTAIL (Cnermidoporus exsanguis)
Common in all but the highest elevations of the park. Differentiated from other whiptails by the combination of stripes and spots.
 
plateau whiptail

Photo by Sally King

PLATEAU WHIPTAIL (Cnemidoporus velox)
Common in all but the highest elevation of the park. Differentiated from other whiptails by having only stripes, no spots or broken lines.

Did You Know?

Black-chinned Hummingbird chicks in nest

Hummingbirds use a combination of plant material, lichens, and moss held together by spider webs to make a flexible nest. This nest can expand to meet the needs of the growing chicks.