• Lower Cliff Dwelling


    National Monument Arizona

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Visitor Center is closed

    The Visitor Center and bookstore will be closed for several weeks for construction. A temporary Visitor Center will be set up in the parking lot. The trail to the Lower Cliff Dwelling will be open during this period. No entrance fees will be collected.

Side-blotched Lizard

side-blotched lizard

Side-blotched Lizard

NPS Photo

Side-blotched Lizard
Uta stansburiana

Body length: 1 1/2 - 2 3/8"
Diet: Insects, scorpions, spiders, and other arthropods

Side-blotched lizards were the most common lizards observed during a recent study of the herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) of Tonto National Monument. These small lizards are found in all areas and habitats of the Monument, including in flat areas north of Route 188, in the cliff dwellings, and in shrubby areas of Cave Creek Canyon. Look for the "side blotch", a small dark dot just behind the forelegs.

Like most small desert reptiles, side-blotched lizards are short-lived. Though they may reach three years of age, in one population studied in Texas less than 1% lived more than 60 weeks. Side-blotched lizards are probably an important food source for many snakes, as well as birds such as roadrunners.

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...