Great Basin Collared Lizard

The Great Basin Collared Lizard is a medium-sized lizard that is easily identified by the black rings around its neck. These two black collars surround a lighter collar at the base of the neck. The rest of the body is olive-brown to gray with many lighter spots along the back. The spots continue down the back and onto the tail, where they form a reticulated pattern. The belly is usually white or lighter colored than the rest of the body.
Crotaphytus bicinctores
5-8 Years
  • Priority Species
  • Unprotected
Least Concern
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

The Great Basin Collared Lizard is found mainly in desert, sparsely vegetated, rocky areas on hillsides, rocky plains, and in canyons. It perches atop rocks and hides under rocks or in rodent burrows when startled.

  • Cold desert shrubland and sagebrush
  • Mojave desert
  • Warm desert riparian


  • Habitat Degradation - Due to Invasive Species
  • Overcollection

Natural History

The Great Basin Collared Lizard is easy to identify with its distinctive black collars around its neck. They eat a wide variety of insects, spiders, lizards, and some plant material. They use their powerful jaws and sharp teeth to subdue their prey.
These lizards are very speedy and can even run using only their hind legs. They do have several predators that they need that speed to escape from including other lizards, snakes, roadrunners, other birds, and predatory mammals.
Males become aggressive and very territorial in the breeding season. They tend to stand their ground on top of a rock, often raising up on their legs, bobbing up and down, and extending a blue and black throat dewlap in a threat display (which may also be attractive to females).

Fun Facts

Gravid (pregnant) females will have orange spots on their sides.