A Guide to the Different Types of Lizards in California

California is home to a diverse array of lizard species due to its varied landscapes and climate. Here are some common types of lizards found in California:

1. Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

The Western Fence Lizard, also known as the Blue-belly Lizard, is one of the most common lizards in California. It has rough scales and a distinctive blue patch on its throat and belly. Western Fence Lizards are often found in sunny areas, including woodlands, grasslands, and suburban areas.

2. Southern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata)

The Southern Alligator Lizard is a medium-sized lizard with a long, slender body and a spiky tail. It is typically brown or green, with dark stripes or patches. Southern Alligator Lizards inhabit a range of habitats, including forests, chaparral, and riparian areas.

3. Western Skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus)

The Western Skink is a small lizard with smooth scales and a slender body. It has a distinctive bronze or copper-colored tail. Western Skinks are found in a variety of habitats, including rocky areas, woodlands, and meadows.

4. Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)

The Side-blotched Lizard is a small lizard known for its varied color patterns and three different male morphs: orange-throated, blue-throated, and yellow-throated. They are found in a range of habitats, including deserts, coastal areas, and grasslands.

5. Western Whiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris)

The Western Whiptail is a slender lizard with long limbs and a long tail. It is known for its swift movements and ability to shed its tail if threatened. Western Whiptails are typically found in arid regions, such as deserts and semi-arid grasslands.

6. Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister)

The Desert Spiny Lizard is a medium-sized lizard with spiky scales and a relatively short tail. It is primarily found in desert habitats, such as rocky areas, canyons, and arid regions of California.

These are just a few examples of the lizard species found in California. The state is home to a rich diversity of lizards, including many other species such as horned lizards, leopard lizards, and tree lizards. The distribution of these species may vary across different regions of California, depending on factors such as climate, habitat, and elevation.