A small (up to 76 mm or 3" from snout to vent), gray-brown to orange-brown lizard with pointed, keeled scales and four rows of dark, irregular shaped blotches on the back. The blotches in each row often merge together forming a dark, wavy stripe. A broad, gray mid-dorsal stripe extends from the neck onto the base of the tail. A rust or orange patch is often present in each "armpit" area and a dark bar marks each shoulder. The throat is either plain or marked with a uniform blue-gray mottling, often accompanied by pink flecking.
Ten Facts about Common Sagebrush Lizard
- It belongs to the family of Phrynosomatidae, Earless and Horned Lizards.
- They are only about 1.5 to 2.5 inches long, not including the tail.
- Primarily areas of sagebrush and gravelly soils or fine-sand dunes. Never far from shelter such as stony piles, crevices, animal burrows.
- Their range are S. Montana to nw. New Mexico and west to Washington, Oregon, California, and Baja California; also in North Dakota.
- This diurnal lizard is most active from mid morning through early afternoon.
- The Common Sagebrush Lizard feeds on a variety of insects including ants, beetles, termites, true bugs, and grasshoppers. It also eats a variety of spiders and scorpions.
- Mating takes place in May and June.
- One to 2 clutches of eggs are laid in June and July. Clutch size ranges from 2 to 10 eggs.
- Incubation lasts from 44 to 52 days and hatchlings begin to emerge as early as July.
- They are eaten by Masticophis, avian predators, and perhaps mammalian predators.