• Lower Cliff Dwelling

    Tonto

    National Monument Arizona

Greater Earless Lizard

greater earless lizard

Greater Earless Lizard

NPS Photo

Greater Earless Lizard
Cophosaurus texanus

Body length: 1 7/8 - 3"
Diet: Insects

Many of the small, agile lizards seen along the Lower Cliff Dwelling trail are greater earless lizards. In springtime, males become very colorful and prominent, sitting on rock perches with their heads held high. Earless lizards are very energetic - when alarmed, they run in short bursts, pausing (like zebratail lizards) to wave their black-and-white striped tails. The two species are difficult to distinguish, but in zebratails the belly-marks are located at mid-body, and in greater earless lizards they are located just in front of the hind legs.

How do earless lizards manage without ears? They don't. Earless lizards in fact do have ears, but no external ear openings. It is believed that the lack of these openings may allow easier burrowing in sandy habitat.

Did You Know?

striped skunk

Four different varieties of skunk have been seen at Tonto National Monument - the hooded, hog-nosed, striped, and spotted. They may look different, but they all smell the same! More...