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The Crotaphytidae, or collared lizards, are a family of desert-dwelling reptiles native to the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. They are very fast-moving animals, with long limbs and tails, and are carnivorous, feeding mainly on insects and smaller lizards.

The two genera contain 12 species.

Technical characters[edit]

  • Femoral pores present
  • Interparietal scale small (distinctly smaller than ear opening)
  • Never have an enlarged midorsal scale row or fringe
  • Never have a divided rostral scale
  • No bony spines or projecting ridges on their heads
  • No scales projecting over their ears, and no scales forming a prominent fringe on sides of toes as in Phrynosomatidae


Genus Gambelia Baird, 1859[1] (leopard lizards)

Genus Crotaphytus Holbrook, 1842[1] (collared lizards)

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in different genus.


  1. ^ a b Dahms Tierleben.
  2. ^ "Gambelia ". The Reptile Database.
  3. ^ "Crotaphytus ". The Reptile Database.

Further reading[edit]

  • Frost DR, Etheridge RE. 1989. A Phylogenetic Analysis and Taxonomy of Iguanian Lizards (Reptilia: Squamata) Univ. Kansas Mus. Nat. Hist. Misc. Publ. 81: 1-62. (Family Crotaphytidae, p. 36).

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