Common Name: Side-blotched Lizard
Scientific Name: Uta stansburiana
Size (length) English & Metric: 4-6 3/8" (10.0-16.2 cm)
Habitat: Rocky, sandy, dry areas with some vegetation; Under 9000'
Diet: Insects, scorpions, and spiders
Predators: Other lizards, birds
This lizard is small and brown with dark blotches on the chest behind the forelegs. There may be blotches, spots, speckles, or stripes on the back. There are small scales on the back, external ear openings, and a skin fold across the throat. This species is similar to another common Bryce Canyon lizard, the Western Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, which is bigger, usually darker in color, and has spiny scales. The Side-blotched Lizard ranges from central Washington through southern California and western Texas and is one of the most prevalent lizards in the dry and semiarid West.
When and where to see at Bryce:
Side-blotched Lizards are most active in the spring, summer, and fall. This species is common throughout the park at elevations below 9,000 ft. They usually go unnoticed as just another little lizard. They are most common below the rim on dry slopes with sparse vegetation.
Behler, John L. and F. Wayne King, 1979: National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, pg. 537.
Stebbins, Robert C., 1985: Peterson Field Guides: Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, pg. 135.
Last updated: February 24, 2015