• Lower Cliff Dwelling

    Tonto

    National Monument Arizona

Zebratail Lizard

zebratail lizard

Zebratail Lizard

NPS Photo

Zebratail Lizard
Callisaurus draconides

Body length: 2 1/2 - 4"
Diet: Insects, spiders, other lizards, and plants

Zebratail lizards are fast, skittish lizards, often seen scampering across sandy desert washes. Between short bursts of speed, they characteristically stop to waggle the black and white banded tails for which they are named. Approach them, and they dart off again.

Zebratails are creatures of the low, sandy desert, and currently are rare at Tonto National Monument. Historic records suggest that zebratails and kangaroo rats were once more common in the Monument. Perhaps this is because vegetation is denser where cattle grazing no longer occurs, which could lead to replacement of animals that prefer open desert (such as zebratails and jackrabbits) with others that prefer greater cover (such as spiny lizards and pocket mice).

Did You Know?

cotton fiber with spindle and whorl

One of the earliest known cotton farming communities, dating from approximately AD 100 - 600, is located near Tonto National Monument.