Overview

Distribution

Range Description

The species' range extends from Oregon and Idaho in the United States, to southern Baja California, Sinaloa, and southern Coahuila in Mexico; west to California, east to Colorado and Texas (Stebbins 2003). The subspecies marmoratus (which is regarded as a distinct species by some authorities) ranges from southern New Mexico and southern and western Texas south through eastern Chihuahua and southern Coahuila.
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Continent: Middle-America North-America
Distribution: USA,  Mexico (Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Sinaloa, Durango, Zacatecas)  aethiops: S Sonora and adjacent islands (Tiburón, San Esteban).
Type locality: Hermosillo, Sonora.  bacatus:
Type locality: San Pedro Nolasco Island, Sonora (fide SMITH & TAYLOR 1950).  canus: Sal Si Puedes Island and north and South San Lorenzo Islands.
Type locality: Sal Si Puedes Island, Gulf of California, Baja California.  catalinensis:
Type locality: Santa Catalina Island, Baja California.  celeripes:
Type locality: San José Island, Baja California.  dickersonae: Mexico, Baja California Norte;
Type locality: Isla Partida, near Angel de la Guardia Island, Gulf of California. Holotype: CAS 49154.  gracilis: E California in Colorado River Valley, S Arizona south of the plateau, SW New Mexico, N Sonora.
Type locality: “Desert of Colorado”. Restricted to Yuma, Arizona (SMITH & TAYLOR 1950).  martyris:
Type locality: San Pedro Mártir Island, Gulf of California, Baja California.  multiscutatus: USA (coastal southern California), Mexico (Baja California).
Type locality: Cedros Island, Baja California.  pulcher:
Type locality: Mexico: 1.2 mi NW Carrillo, Chihuahua; HOLOTYPE: UIMNH 43762; P. S. Chrapliwy and K. L. Williams; August 1, 1958.  reticuloriens: Nuevo Leon  rubidus: Southern third of Baja California, south of San Marcos Island, including adjacent islands in the Gulf and off the western edge of the peninsula (Carmen, Santa Margarita, Magdalena Islands).
Type locality: Santa Margarita Island, Baja California.  stejnegeri: coastal southern California.
Type locality: Ensenada, Baja California.  tigris: S Idaho, SE Oregon south through W Utah and SE California to NE Baja California, NW Sonora.
Type locality: “Valley of the Great Salt Lake”, Utah. Restricted to Salt Lake City, Utah.  variolosus: Nuevo Leon
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Physical Description

Type Information

Lectotype; Syntype for Aspidoscelis tigris aethiops
Catalog Number: USNM 64245
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Sex/Stage: Female; Juvenile
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1887
Locality: Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
  • Lectotype: Maslin, T. P. & Secoy, D. M. 1986. Contributions in Zoology, University of Colorado Museum. (1): 36.; Cope, E. D. 1900. Report of the United States National Museum for 1898. 582.; Syntype: Maslin, T. P. & Secoy, D. M. 1986. Contributions in Zoology, University of Colorado Museum. (1): 36.; Cope, E. D. 1900. Report of the United States National Museum for 1898. 582.
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Paralectotype; Syntype for Aspidoscelis tigris aethiops
Catalog Number: USNM 64244
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1887
Locality: Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
  • Paralectotype: Maslin, T. P. & Secoy, D. M. 1986. Contributions in Zoology, University of Colorado Museum. (1): 36.; Cope, E. D. 1900. Report of the United States National Museum for 1898. 582.; Syntype: Maslin, T. P. & Secoy, D. M. 1986. Contributions in Zoology, University of Colorado Museum. (1): 36.; Cope, E. D. 1900. Report of the United States National Museum for 1898. 582.
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Paralectotype; Syntype for Aspidoscelis tigris aethiops
Catalog Number: USNM 64243
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1887
Locality: Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
  • Paralectotype: Maslin, T. P. & Secoy, D. M. 1986. Contributions in Zoology, University of Colorado Museum. (1): 36.; Cope, E. D. 1900. Report of the United States National Museum for 1898. 582.; Syntype: Maslin, T. P. & Secoy, D. M. 1986. Contributions in Zoology, University of Colorado Museum. (1): 36.; Cope, E. D. 1900. Report of the United States National Museum for 1898. 582.
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Paralectotype; Syntype for Aspidoscelis tigris aethiops
Catalog Number: USNM 64241
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1887
Locality: Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
  • Paralectotype: Maslin, T. P. & Secoy, D. M. 1986. Contributions in Zoology, University of Colorado Museum. (1): 36.; Cope, E. D. 1900. Report of the United States National Museum for 1898. 582.; Syntype: Maslin, T. P. & Secoy, D. M. 1986. Contributions in Zoology, University of Colorado Museum. (1): 36.; Cope, E. D. 1900. Report of the United States National Museum for 1898. 582.
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Paralectotype; Syntype for Aspidoscelis tigris aethiops
Catalog Number: USNM 64240
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1887
Locality: Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
  • Paralectotype: Maslin, T. P. & Secoy, D. M. 1986. Contributions in Zoology, University of Colorado Museum. (1): 36.; Cope, E. D. 1900. Report of the United States National Museum for 1898. 582.; Syntype: Maslin, T. P. & Secoy, D. M. 1986. Contributions in Zoology, University of Colorado Museum. (1): 36.; Cope, E. D. 1900. Report of the United States National Museum for 1898. 582.
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Holotype for Aspidoscelis tigris aethiops
Catalog Number: USNM 40042
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1910
Locality: Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
  • Holotype: Burger, W. L. 1950. Natural History Miscellanea, The Chicago Academy of Sciences. (65): 2.
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Ecology

Habitat

Great Basin Shrub Steppe Habitat

The Great Basin shrub steppe is one of the ecoregions inhabited by the Utah prairie dog. The Great Basin shrub steppe ecoregion is situated in the most northerly of the four American deserts. Unlike the other three, which have almost exclusive ties to warm-temperate and tropical/subtropical vegetation types, the Great Basin has affinities with cold-temperate vegetation.

Dominant plant species in the region include such distinctly cold-temperate species as sagebrushes (Artemisia), saltbrushes (Atriplex), and Winter-fat (Ceratoides lanata). These scrub species are much-branched, non-sprouting, aromatic semi-shrubs with soft wood and evergreen leaves. The Great Basin also contains species with evolutionary ties to warmer climates, such as rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus), blackbrush (Coleogyne), hopsage (grayia) and horsebrush (Tetradymia). The region, however, contains few cacti species, either in numbers of individuals or species, and also lacks most characteristic desert plants in minor drainages.

Some other notable mammals found in the Great Basin ecoregion are: Belding's ground squirrel (Spermophilus beldingi); Yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris); Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis); Bushy-tailed woodrat (Neotoma cinerea); Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis); Canyon mouse (Peromyscus crinitus); Cliff chipmunk (Tamias dorsalis); Coyote (Canis latrans); Desert cottontail (Crotaphytus insularis); North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum).

Anuran taxa found in the Great Basin scrub steppe are eight in number: the Black toad (Anaxyrus exsul VU); Great Basin spadefoot toad (Spea intermontana); Northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens); Pacific treefrog (Pseudacris regilla); Northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora); Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris); Southwestern toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus); and Woodhouse's toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii). The Tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinis) is the sole salamander found in this ecoregion.

The Great Basin holds numerous reptilian taxa: Bluntnose leopard lizard (Gambelia sila EN); Common kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula); Sierra gartersnake (Thamnophis couchii); Black-collared lizard (Crotaphytus insularis); Desert horned lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos); Desert spiny lizard (Sceloporus magister); Western gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer); Ground snake (Sonora semiannulata); Long-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia wislizenii); Long-nosed snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei); Milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum); Panamint alligator lizard (Elgaria panamintina), a California endemic found only in the following desert mountains: Panamint, Inyo, Nelson, White, Cosos and Argus; Yellow-bellied racer (Coluber constrictor); Ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus); Sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus); Pygmy short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglasii); Side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana); Striped whipsnake (Masticophis taeniatus); Western banded gecko (Coleonyx variegatus); Western patch-nosed snake (Salvadora hexalepis); Western pond turtle (Emys marmorata); Western terrestrial garter snake (Thamnophis elegans); Tiger whiptail (Cnemidophorus tigris); Zebra-tailed lizard (Callisaurus draconoides); Rubber boa (Charina bottae); and Night snake (Hypsiglena torquata).

A large number of bird species occur within the Great Basin, either as resident or migratory taxa. Example avian species found here are: Lewis's woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis); Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitans); Pinyon jay (Phainopepla nitans VU), a specialist found in pinyon-juniper woodlands; Greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus NT); Sandhill crane (Grus canadensis).

  • C.Michael Hogan & World Wildlife Fund. 2015. Great Basin shrub steppe. Great Basin shrub steppe. Encyclopedia of Earth, National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC. Ed. M. McGinley
  • J.M. Hoekstra, J. L.; Jennings, M.; Revenga, C.; Spalding, M. D.; Boucher, T. M.; Robertson, J. C.; Heibel, T. J.; Ellison, K. (2010). Molnar, J. L., ed. The Atlas of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-26256-0.
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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Habitat includes deserts and semi-arid shrublands, usually in areas with sparse vegetation; also woodland, open dry forest, and riparian growth. Soil may be firm, sandy, or rocky. Lizards seek shelter in underground burrows (dug by rodent or lizard) or under surface objects. Eggs are laid in soil/underground.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 7.8 years (wild)
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2007

Assessor/s
Hammerson, G.A., Frost, D.R. & Santos-Barrera, G.

Reviewer/s
Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large and relatively stable extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size. No major threats are known. Subspecies marmoratus is considered to be a distinct species by some authorities; as such, it also is Least Concern.
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Population

Population
This species is represented by hundreds of occurrences or subpopulations. The total adult population size is unknown but probably exceeds 1,000,000. This is a common lizard in most of its range. The extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size are relatively stable.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
No major threats have been identified.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Many occurrences are in national parks and monuments and other protected areas. No direct conservation measures are currently needed for this species as a whole.
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