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.
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.
Species Attribute Definitions
Occurrence values are defined below. One or more Occurrence Tags may be associated with each Occurrence value.
Present: Species occurs in park; current, reliable evidence available.
Probably Present: High confidence species occurs in park but current, verified evidence needed.
Unconfirmed: Species is attributed to park but evidence is weak or absent.
Not In Park: Species is not known to occur in park.
Adjacent: Species is known to occur in areas near to or contiguous with park boundaries.
False Report: Species was reported to occur within the park, but current evidence indicates the report was based on misidentification, a taxonomic concept no longer accepted, or other similar problem of error or interpretation.
Historical: Species' historical occurrence in park is documented. Assigned based on judgment as opposed to determination based on age of the most recent evidence.
Animals: May be seen daily, in suitable habitat and season, and counted in relatively large numbers.
Plants: Large number of individuals; wide ecological amplitude or occurring in habitats covering a large portion of the park.
Animals: May be seen daily, in suitable habitat and season, but not in large numbers.
Plants: Large numbers of individuals predictably occurring in commonly encountered habitats but not those covering a large portion of the park.
Animals: Likely to be seen monthly in appropriate habitat and season. May be locally common.
Plants: Few to moderate numbers of individuals; occurring either sporadically in commonly encountered habitats or in uncommon habitats.
Animals: Present, but usually seen only a few times each year.
Plants: Few individuals, usually restricted to small areas of rare habitat.
Animals: Occurs in the park at least once every few years, varying in numbers, but not necessarily every year.
Plants: Abundance variable from year to year (e.g., desert plants).
Unknown: Abundance unknown
Native: Species naturally occurs in park or region.
Non-native: Species occurs on park lands as a result of deliberate or accidental human activities.
Unknown: Nativeness status is unknown or ambiguous.
The Checklist contains only those species that are designated as "present" or "probably present" in the park.
The Full List includes all the checklist species in addition to species that are unconfirmed, historically detected, or incorrectly reported as being found in the park. The full list also contains species that are "in review" because their status in the park hasn't been fully determined. Additional details about the status of each species is included in the full list.
The checklist will almost always contain fewer species than the full list.