Sonoran Collared Lizard
Body length: 3 - 4 1/2"
Diet: Insects, lizards, and plants
Large, fast, and often brightly colored, the Sonoran collared lizard is one of the most impressive lizards in Arizona. Its body color ranges from brown to an almost emerald green, with white spots on the back, bold yellow on the head, and distinctive black neck bands. Collared lizards are not common, but are day-active, or diurnal, and can be very conspicuous when present. They occur throughout Tonto National Monument in rocky areas; look for them on warm spring mornings on the Lower and Upper Cliff Dwelling trails.
Collared lizards rely on speed to catch and eat insects and other lizards. Like some dinosaurs and a few other lizards, they can run on their hind legs, using their long, powerful tail for balance.
Did You Know?
The first known written record of the cliff dwellings at Tonto National Monument dates from 1880. Archeologist Adolph Bandelier visited the dwellings in 1883, and said they were some of the best preserved he had ever seen. More...