• Strike Valley and the Waterpocket Fold

    Capitol Reef

    National Park Utah

Reptiles

SNAKES

Colubridae

 
Gophersnake

NPS

Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer): Gopher snakes are found throughout most of North America and are common throughout Utah, including in the park. When alarmed, gopher snakes hiss and vibrate their tails, thus they are often mistaken for rattlesnakes. Their diet consists of birds, bird eggs, small mammals, lizards, and insects. They are typically large, with individuals longer than 100 in (250 cm) in length not uncommon. Their backs are yellowish or cream colored with dark blotches, and their bellies are whitish or yellowish in color.

 
Striped Whipsnake

NPS

Striped Whipsnake (Masticophis taeniatus): Striped whipsnakes are found throughout the western US and are common in Utah, including in the park. They are often found near streams and are active during the day throughout the spring, summer, and early fall then becoming inactive during the cold winter months, when they seek refuge in rodent burrows and rock crevices. Their diet consists of lizards and small mammals.

 

Terrestrial Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans): Terrestrial garter snakes are common throughout the western US, especially in Utah including in the park. Their diet consists of worms, snails, amphibians, fishes, small rodents, and occasionally insects, lizards, small snakes, and small birds. They are found in many types of habitat. Garter snakes become inactive during cold times of the year.

 
Kingsnake

NPS

Common Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula): Kingsnakes are found throughout the US including in southern Utah but are rare in the park. They are found in desert scrub areas, agricultural areas, woodlands, and deserts. Kingsnakes are active during warm periods and inactive during cold times of the year. Their diet consists of reptiles, small mammals, and birds, as well as the eggs of both birds and reptiles. They are one of the few Utah animals that prey upon rattlesnakes.

 

Viperidae

 
Midget-faded Rattlesnake

NPS

Midget Faded Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus concolor): These rattlesnakes are found in western Colorado, eastern Utah, and southern Wyoming and are common in the park. They are primarily found on the ground, but will occasionally climb into trees and shrubs. Their diet consists of small mammals, birds, lizards, and occasionally amphibians. They subdue their prey by injecting venom through large hollow fangs at the front of the upper jaw. Midget faded rattlesnakes are typically tan, cream, or yellowish, with faint oval blotches on the back. They usually grow less than 24 in (61 cm) in length.

 

LIZARDS

Crotaphytidae

 
Collared Lizard

NPS

Great Basin Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus bicinctores): These lizards are found throughout the western US including western Utah and are common in the park. Their diet consists of lizards, insects, spiders, and some plant material. They are only active during the spring, summer, and fall, then become inactive during the cold winter months.

 
Long-nosed Leopard Lizard

NPS

Long-nosed Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii): Leopard lizards are found throughout Utah in open desert and semi-desert areas that allow them to run. They are common in the park. These lizards are mainly ground dwelling, but will occasionally climb into bushes. During cold weather, they seek refuge in burrows and become inactive. Their diet consists of insects, spiders, small rodents, lizards, and some plant material. These relatively large lizards can slightly alter their coloration for camouflage purposes.

 

Phrynosomatidae

 
Sagebrush Lizard

NPS

Common Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus): A spiny lizard found throughout the western US, common sagebrush lizards are common throughout Utah including in the park. They are found in sagebrush habitats, but also occur in many other types of habitat, including pinyon-juniper areas and open forests. They become inactive during the cold winter months, often using stone piles, shrubs, or rodent burrows for cover. Their diet consists of invertebrates, primarily insects and spiders.

 
Desert Spiny Lizard

NPS

Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister): These lizards are stocky and spiny and native to southern and eastern Utah. They are common in the park. Their heads are yellowish orange while their bodies are flecked with gold or yellow. Desert spiny lizards have distinctive black marks on each side of their necks. They prefers arid habitats, where they are often found on rocks or in trees. They become inactive during cold weather, taking shelter in crevices and burrows. Their diet consists of a variety of insects, lizards, and plant material.

 

Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus): Plateau lizards are spiny lizards found in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona and are abundant in the park. They have long tails and pale stripes with a pattern of darker bars down either side of their backs. They are found in a variety of habitats including rocky areas of desert shrublands, sagebrush, grasslands, pinyon- juniper woodlands, and canyons. Plateau lizards forage on the ground but climb onto rocks, trees, fence posts, and wood piles to bask. They sit and wait for prey to wander within close proximity and feed on a variety of insects, spiders, snails, and small lizards.

 
Horned Lizard

NPS

Greater Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi): Greater short-horned lizards are found throughout much of the western US, including Utah, however they are rare in the park. They primarily inhabit open areas in habitats ranging from grasslands to high mountains. These lizards can tolerate cold temperatures by burying themselves in loose soil, though they are inactive during very cold weather. Their diet consists of invertebrates, especially ants.

 
Side-blotched Lizard

NPS

Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana): These lizards are found throughout much of the western US, including Utah where they are abundant in the park. They are small grayish-brown lizards with dark blue to black patches behind their front legs. They inhabit areas of sandy or rocky soil containing scattered brush or trees and are primarily ground dwellers. Side-blothed lizards feed mainly on small invertebrates such as insects and scorpions, but adult males may cannibalize young lizards.

 
Tree Lizard

NPS

Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus): Tree lizards range from southwestern Wyoming to central Mexico including eastern and southern Utah. They are common in the park. These lizards are dark brown or black to light tan or gray with colorful patches on the belly and throat. They are found in habitats ranging from deserts to the lower edges of the spruce-fir zone with areas along river and stream courses preferred. During cold weather, they become inactive, living in burrows, crevices, or hollow tree stumps. Their diet consists of insects and spiders.

 

Teiidae

 
Western Whiptail Lizard

NPS

Western Whiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris): Western whiptails are found throughout much of the western US, including Utah and are common in the park. They are slender, long-tailed lizards with little differentiation between head and body. They primarily inhabit sparsely vegetated desert and shrubland habitats. During cold winter months, they often occupy underground burrows created by rodents or other lizards. Whiptails feed primarily on insects, scorpions, lizards, and spiders.

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