Featured Species

  • a dome shelled tortoise looking at the camera
    Desert Tortoise

    Seldom seen, these tortoises are a rare find in Death Valley!

  • cream and brown rattlesnake

    Named for how they move, this snake is supremely adapted to the extremes of the desert.


Reptiles in Death Valley National Park

  • Desert tortoise
    Gopherus agassizii
    Threatened. Found in the flats and foothills from 1500 to 3500 feet.
  • Desert banded gecko
    Coleonyx variegatus variegatus
    Nocturnal; valley floor to 3500 feet.
  • Desert iguana
    Dipsosaurus dorsalis
    In and around mesquite hummocks and other similar locations with fine sandy soil; in low canyons and washes up to 3000 feet.
  • Chuckwalla
    Sauromalus obesus
    Areas of large rocks and boulders on alluvial fans and in canyons; throughout Death Valley up to 5000 feet; Towne Pass, Dante's View road, Titus Canyon.
  • Zebra-tailed lizard
    Callisaurus draconoides
    Sandy and gravelly areas near dunes and in washes; common on roads in morning in spring , summer, and fall.
  • Mojave fringe-toed lizard
    Uma scoparia
    Found in the Ibex Dunes in Death Valley, this lizard is restricted to sandy habitats with fine to very fine grained sand. The fringe-toed lizard has specially adapted fringes on its toes that allow it to run across sand at speeds up to 10 miles per hour. This lizard can also "swim" underneath soft sand to find cooler temperatures.
  • Collared lizard
    Crotaphytus bicinctores
    Among rocks in hilly areas and washes, on slopes; from 1000 to 5000 feet.
  • Leopard lizard
    Gambelia wislizenii
    Valley floor to 3600 feet on alluvial fans, in canyons and washes with scattered vegetation.
  • Desert spiny lizard
    Sceloporus magister magister
    Rocky slopes and canyons from 3500 to 7000 feet around vegetation.
  • Great basin fence lizard
    Sceloporus occidentalis biseriatus
    Rocky areas over wide elevation range; rock outcrops, canyons, near springs.
  • Sagebrush lizard
    Sceloporus graciosus
    From sagebrush through pinyon-juniper up to 10,500 feet.
  • Desert side-blotched lizard
    Uta stansburiana
    Throughout Death Valley below 5000 feet in gravelly and rocky areas. Active on warm days all year.
  • Western brush lizard
    Urosaurus graciosus graciosus
    Low desert in and around creosote bush and mesquite.
  • Southern desert horned lizard
    Phrynosoma platyrhinos calidiarum
    Sandy, gravelly areas; low desert to over 5000 feet.
  • Desert night lizard
    Xantusia vigilis vigilis
    In and near Joshua trees; under debris; near Dantes View, over 9000 feet in Panamint Mountains.
  • Western skink
    Eumeces skiltonianus skiltonianus
    Moist areas with good cover in pinyon-juniper.
  • Western red-tailed skink
    Eumeces gilberti rubricaudatus
    Found in isolated populations in Hanaupah and Johnson Canyons in the Panamints.
  • Great basin whiptail
    Cnemidophorus tigris tigris
    Dry sandy area with sparse vegetation; rocky areas of upper washes; meaquite thickets and vegetated areas of Greenwater Valley and Harrisburg Flats.
  • Panamint alligator lizard
    Elgaria panamintina
    Panamint and Grapevine Mountains above 3500 feet.
  • Western blind snake
    Lepotyphlops humilis
    Nocturnal; under rocks, among roots on brush covered slopes; from below sea level to 4000 feet.
  • Rosy boa
    Lichanura trivigata
    Low foothills and canyons below 4500 feet; in sandy and gravelly habitats.
  • Western leaf-nosed snake
    Phyllorhyncus decurtatus perkinsi
    Nocturnal; sandy and gravelly soil; rocky foothills.
  • Coachwhip (red racer)
    Masticophis flagellum piceus
    Sandy mesquite hummocks; gravelly desert; rocky foothills.
  • Striped whipsnake
    Masticophis taeniatus
    Willow Creek in Black Mountains; Hunter Spring in Cottonwood Mountains.
  • Desert patch-nosed snake
    Salvadora hexalepis hexalepis
    Rocky and sandy areas from lower slopes and washes up to Towne Pass
  • Desert glossy snake
    Arizona elegans eburnata
    Nocturnal; in sandy or gravelly areas.
  • Great basin gopher snake
    Pituophis melanoleucus deserticola
    From rock-strewn desert foothills into mountains.
  • California king snake
    Lampropeltis getuls californiae
    Panamint Mountains from Emigrant Canyon to Wildrose; Daylight Pass.
  • Western long-nosed snake
    Rhinocheilus lecontei lecontei
    Nocturnal; Aguereberry Point, Towne Pass, Daylight Pass.
  • Western ground snake
    Sonora semiannulata
    Sandy or fine gravel to over 4000 feet; Wildrose Canyon, Greenwater, Daylight Pass.
  • Mojave shovel-nosed snake
    Chionactus occipitalis occipitalis
    Sandy areas in the southern half of Death Valley; frequents dunes, washes, sandy flats, and rocky hillsides where there are sandy gullies.
  • Nevada shovel-nosed snake
    Chionactus occipitalis talpina
    Sandy areas in the northern half of Death Valley; frequents dunes, washes, sandy flats, and rocky hillsides where there are sandy gullies.
  • Utah black-headed snake
    Tantilla planiceps utahensis
    Nocturnal; Panamint Mountains.
  • California lyre snake
    Trimorphodont biscutatus vandenburghi
    Rocky areas; sea level to over 4000 feet.
  • Desert night snake
    Hypsiglene torquata
    Many habitats from below sealevel to over 5000 feet.
  • Panamint rattlesnake
    Crotalus mitchelli stephensi
    Below sealevel to over 7000 feet, usually in foothills and mountains.
  • Mojave desert sidewinder
    Crotalus cerastes cerastes
    Nocturnal; mesquite hummocks; from below sea level to 4500 feet.
  • Mojave rattlesnake
    Crotalus scutulatus
    Chiefly inhabits upland desert and mountain slopes but ranges from sea level to 8,000 feet. Considered rare in Death Valley and restricted to the southern half of the park.

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Last updated: January 17, 2021

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Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328


760 786-3200

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