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Reptiles (Details and Classification of Reptiles in the Southwest)


Western Diamondback Crotalus Atrox

Reptiles Overview

Reptiles, as most commonly defined, are the animals in the class Reptilia, a paraphyletic grouping comprising all sauropsid amniotes except Aves (birds).

Living reptiles comprise turtles, crocodilians, squamates (lizards and snakes), and rhynchocephalians (tuatara). As of March 2022, the Reptile Database lists the class including approximately 11,700 species.

Below we have the reptiles of the Southwest in several formats so keep scrolling until you see what you are looking for.

For a breakdown of snakes in the area of the southwest and the southwest states, use these resources:

What is a Desert Tortoise

Diversity of Reptiles

Below is a list showing the Species diversity of living reptiles as of 2013.

  • Crocodilia (aquatic reptiles) = 25 (0.3% of reptile species)
  • Squamates = 9,193 (96.3% of reptile species)
    • Amphisbaenians – 181 (2%)
    • Lizards – 5,634 (59%)
    • Snakes – 3,378 (35%)
  • Rhynchocephalia (lizard-like reptiles) = 1 (0.01% of reptile species)
  • Testudines (Turtles) = 327 (3.4% of reptile species)
  • TOTAL = 9,546 described species


Classification of Reptiles Overview

In our research to share the wildlife of the Southwest, one of the hardest for me personally has been working with the classification of reptiles as some of these “subspecies” can be incredibly confusing.

Some reptiles have more than one common name and we have listed them all in parentheses. 

To help me understand, I decided to make a visual tree to see how each genus and species are related. This is for sure a work in progress as we work through each reptile that is found in each state in the Southwestern part of the United States.

Order of Reptiles

The modern-day class of reptiles, reptilia, is normally divided into four different orders (Crocodilia, Rhynchocephalia, Squamata, and Testudines), with each having its own distinct characteristics and morphologies.

Crocodilia (Order)

This ancient order, which includes all modern alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gharials, is mostly large, predatory, semiaquatic reptiles, known as crocodilians and are the closest living relative of birds, and the two groups are the only known survivors of the Archosauria.

The order Crocodilia includes the true crocodiles (family Crocodylidae), the alligators and caimans (family Alligatoridae), and the gharial and false gharial (family Gavialidae). 

Although the term ‘crocodiles’ is sometimes used to refer to all of these, crocodilians is a less ambiguous vernacular term for members of this group.

Rhynchocephalia (Order)

Once incredibly diverse, it has been reduced to only a single living genus is an order of lizard-like reptiles that includes only one living species, the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) of New Zealand.

Their closest living relatives are lizards and snakes in the order Squamata, with the two orders being grouped together in the superorder Lepidosauria.

Squamata (Order)

Latin squamatus (“scaly, having scales”) is the largest (over 10,900 species) and youngest order of reptiles, comprising lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians (worm lizards), which are collectively known as squamates or scaled reptiles. Many of the smallest reptiles in the world are classified as Squamata members.

Members of the order are distinguished by their skins, which bear horny scales or shields. They also possess movable quadrate bones, making the possible movement of the upper jaw relative to the neurocranium. This is particularly visible in snakes, which are able to open their mouths very wide to accommodate comparatively large prey.

Among other reptiles, squamates are most closely related to the tuatara, the last surviving member of the once diverse Rhynchocephalia, with both groups being placed in the clade Lepidosauria.

Testudines (Order)

The order of Testudines is comprised of all known turtle species and is characterized by a shell developed mainly from their ribs. 

There are 360 living and recently extinct species of turtles, including land-dwelling tortoises and freshwater terrapins.

They are found on most continents, some islands, and, in the case of sea turtles, much of the ocean.

Like other reptiles, birds, and mammals, they breathe air and do not lay eggs underwater, although many species live in or around water.

Genetic evidence typically places them in close relation to crocodilians and birds.

What is a Chuckwalla

profile of a chuckwalla a large desert-dwelling lizard basking on a rock.

Snakes of the Southwest

Again, while the taxonomy tree helps me, it can be an eyesore to look at so we also have the names of the reptiles found in the southwest in a list form and below are the venomous and non-venomous snakes found in the Southwest.

You can view and sort the columns. The V/NV column is for whether or not the snake is venomous vs non-venomous.

Did we miss one? If so, let us know (it is a work in progress!).

Common NameFamilyGenusSpeciesV
Northern Alligator LizardAnguidaeElgariacoeruleaCANV
Madrean Alligator LizardAnguidaeElgariakingiiAZNM
Southern Alligator LizardAnguidaeElgariamulticarinataCA
Panamint Alligator LizardAnguidaeElgariapanamintinaCA
Temblor Legless LizardAnniellidaeAnniellaalexanderaeCA
Big Spring Legless LizardAnniellidaeAnniellacampiCA
Bakersfield Legless LizardAnniellidaeAnniellagrinnelliCA
Northern Legless LizardAnniellidaeAnniellapulchraCA
San Diegan Legless LizardAnniellidaeAnniellastebbinsiCA
Northern Rubber BoaBoidaeCharinabottaeCANVUT
Southern Rubber BoaBoidaeCharinaumbraticaCA
Rosy BoaBoidaeLichanuraorcuttiAZCANV
Three-lined BoaBoidaeLichanuratrivirgataAZCA
Jackson's ChameleonChamaeleonidaeChamaeleojacksoniiCA
Glossy SnakeColubridaeArizonaelegansAZCANMNVUT
Desert Glossy SnakeColubridaeArizonaelegans eburnataAZCANMNVUT
Baja California RatsnakeColubridaeBogertophisrosaliaeCA
Variable SandsnakeColubridaeChilomeniscusstramineusAZ
Resplendent Desert Shovel-nosed SnakeColubridaeChionactisannulataAZCA
Mohave Shovel-nosed SnakeColubridaeChionactisoccipitalisAZCANV
Sonoran Shovel-nosed SnakeColubridaeChionactispalarostrisAZ
Sonoran WhipsnakeColubridaeColuberbilineatusAZNM
North American RacerColubridaeColuberconstrictorAZCANMNVUT
Baja California CoachwhipColubridaeColuberfuliginosusCA
Striped RacerColubridaeColuberlateralisCA
Striped WhipsnakeColubridaeColubertaeniatusAZCANMNVUT
Forest Sharp-tailed SnakeColubridaeContialongicaudaCA
Common Sharp-tailed SnakeColubridaeContiatenuisCA
Desert IguanaColubridaeDiadophusdorsalisAZCANVUT
Ring-necked SnakeColubridaeDiadophuspunctatusAZCANVUT
Chihuahuan Hook-nosed SnakeColubridaeGyalopioncanumAZNM
Thornscrub Hook-nosed SnakeColubridaeGyalopionquadrangulareAZ
Mexican Hog-nosed SnakeColubridaeHeterodonkennerlyiAZNM
Western Hog-nosed SnakeColubridaeHeterodonnasicus
Desert NightsnakeColubridaeHypsiglenachlorophaeaAZCANMNVUT
Chihuahuan NightsnakeColubridaeHypsiglenajaniAZNM
Coast NightsnakeColubridaeHypsiglenaochrorhynchaCA
California KingsnakeColubridaeLampropeltiscaliforniaeAZCANMNVUT
Western MilksnakeColubridaeLampropeltisgentilisAZNMNVUT
Madrean Mountain KingsnakeColubridaeLampropeltisknoblochiAZNM
Western Black KingsnakeColubridaeLampropeltisnigritaAZ
Arizona Mountain KingsnakeColubridaeLampropeltispyromelanaAZNMNVUT
Desert KingsnakeColubridaeLampropeltissplendidaAZNM
California Mountain KingsnakeColubridaeLampropeltiszonataCA
Southern WatersnakeColubridaeNerodiafasciataAZCA
Diamond-backed WatersnakeColubridaeNerodiarhombiferCA
Smooth GreensnakeColubridaeOpheodrysvernalisNM
Brown VinesnakeColubridaeOxybelisaeneusAZ
Great Plains RatsnakeColubridaePantherophisemoryiNMUT
Long-nosed SnakeColubridaeRhinocheilusleconteiAZCANMNVUT
Eastern Patch-nosed SnakeColubridaeSalvadoragrahamiaeAZ
Western Patch-nosed SnakeColubridaeSalvadorahexalepisAZCANMNVUT
Green RatsnakeColubridaeSenticolistriaspisAZNM
Western GroundsnakeColubridaeSonorasemiannulataAZCANMNVUT
Smith's Black-headed SnakeColubridaeTantillahobartsmithiAZCANMNVUT
Plains Black-headed SnakeColubridaeTantillanigricepsAZNM
Western Black-headed SnakeColubridaeTantillaplanicepsCA
Chihuahuan Black-headed SnakeColubridaeTantillawilcoxiAZ
Yaqui Black-headed SnakeColubridaeTantillayaquiaAZNM
Aquatic GartersnakeColubridaeThamnophisatratusCA
Sierra GartersnakeColubridaeThamnophiscouchiiCANV
Black-necked GartersnakeColubridaeThamnophiscyrtopsisAZNMUT
Terrestrial GartersnakeColubridaeThamnophiselegansAZCANMNVUT
Mexican GartersnakeColubridaeThamnophisequesAZNMNV
Giant GartersnakeColubridaeThamnophisgigasCA
Two-striped GartersnakeColubridaeThamnophishammondiiCA
Checkered GartersnakeColubridaeThamnophismarcianusAZCANM
Northwestern GartersnakeColubridaeThamnophisordinoidesCA
Narrow-headed GartersnakeColubridaeThamnophisrufipunctatusAZNM
Common GartersnakeColubridaeThamnophissirtalisCANMNVUT
Sonoran LyresnakeColubridaeTrimorphodonlambdaVAZCANMNVUT
California LyresnakeColubridaeTrimorphodonlyrophanesVCA
Great Basin Collared LizardCrotaphytidaeCrotaphytusbicinctoresAZCANVUT
Eastern Collared LizardCrotaphytidaeCrotaphytuscollarisAZNMUT
Sonoran Collared LizardCrotaphytidaeCrotaphytusnebriusAZ
Rough-tailed GeckoCrotaphytidaeCrotaphytusscabrumAZ
Baja California Collared LizardCrotaphytidaeCrotaphytusvestigiumCA
Cope's Leopard LizardCrotaphytidaeGambeliacopeiiCA
Blunt-nosed Leopard LizardCrotaphytidaeGambeliasilaCA
Long-nosed Leopard LizardCrotaphytidaeGambeliawislizeniiAZCANMNVUT
Yellow-bellied SeasnakeElapidaeHydrophisplaturusCA
Sonoran CoralsnakeElapidaeMicruroideseuryxanthusAZNM
Switak's Banded GeckoEublepharidaeColeonyxswitakiCA
Western Banded GeckoEublepharidaeColeonyxvariegatusAZCANMNVUT
Stump-toed GeckoGekkonidaeGehyramutilataCA
Mediterranean GeckoGekkonidaeHemidactylusturcicusAZCANMNV
Gila MonsterHelodermatidaeHelodermasuspectumAZCANMNVUT
Common ChuckwallaIguanidaeSauromalusaterAZCANVUT
New Mexico ThreadsnakeLeptotyphlopidaeRenadissectaAZNM
Western ThreadsnakeLeptotyphlopidaeRenahumilisAZCANMNVUT
Zebra-tailed LizardPhrynosomatidaeCallisaurusdraconoidesAZCANMNVUT
Greater Earless LizardPhrynosomatidaeCophosaurustexanusAZNM
Elegant Earless LizardPhrynosomatidaeHolbrookiaelegansAZ
Lesser Earless LizardPhrynosomatidaeHolbrookiamaculataAZNMUT
Banded Rock LizardPhrynosomatidaePetrosaurusmearnsiCA
Blainville's Horned LizardPhrynosomatidaePhrynosomablainvilliiCA
Texas Horned LizardPhrynosomatidaePhrynosomacornutumAZNM
Pygmy Short-horned LizardPhrynosomatidaePhrynosomadouglasiiCANV
Goode's Horned LizardPhrynosomatidaePhrynosomagoodeiAZ
Greater Short-horned LizardPhrynosomatidaePhrynosomahernandesiAZNMNVUT
Flat-tailed Horned LizardPhrynosomatidaePhrynosomamcalliiAZCA
Round-tailed Horned LizardPhrynosomatidaePhrynosomamodestumAZNM
Desert Horned LizardPhrynosomatidaePhrynosomaplatyrhinosAZCANMNVUT
Regal Horned LizardPhrynosomatidaePhrynosomasolareAZNM
Twin-spotted Spiny LizardPhrynosomatidaeSceloporusbimaculosusAZNM
Clark's Spiny LizardPhrynosomatidaeSceloporusclarkiiAZNM
Southwestern Fence LizardPhrynosomatidaeSceloporuscowlesiAZNM
Common Sagebrush LizardPhrynosomatidaeSceloporusgraciosusAZCANMNVUT
Yarrow's Spiny LizardPhrynosomatidaeSceloporusjarroviiAZNM
Desert Spiny LizardPhrynosomatidaeSceloporusmagisterAZCANMNVUT
Western Fence LizardPhrynosomatidaeSceloporusoccidentalisCANVUT
Granite Spiny LizardPhrynosomatidaeSceloporusorcuttiCA
Slevin's Bunchgrass LizardPhrynosomatidaeSceloporussleviniAZNM
Plateau Fence LizardPhrynosomatidaeSceloporustristichusAZNMUT
Yellow-backed Spiny LizardPhrynosomatidaeSceloporusuniformisAZCANVUT
Striped Plateau LizardPhrynosomatidaeSceloporusvirgatusAZNM
Coachella Fringe-toed LizardPhrynosomatidaeUmainornataCA
Colorado Desert Fringe-toed LizardPhrynosomatidaeUmanotataCA
Yuman Desert Fringe-toed LizardPhrynosomatidaeUmarufopunctataAZ
Mohave Fringe-toed LizardPhrynosomatidaeUmascopariaAZCA
a fringe-toed lizardPhrynosomatidaeUmathurmanaeAZ
Long-tailed Brush LizardPhrynosomatidaeUrosaurusgraciosusAZCANVUT
Small-scaled LizardPhrynosomatidaeUrosaurusmicroscutatusCA
Ornate Tree LizardPhrynosomatidaeUrosaurusornatusAZCANMNVUT
Common Side-blotched LizardPhrynosomatidaeUtastansburianaAZCANMNVUT
Leaf-toed GeckoPhyllodactylidaePhyllodactylusnocticolusCA
Saddled Leaf-nosed SnakePhyllodactylidaePhyllorhynchusbrowniAZ
Spotted Leaf-nosed SnakePhyllodactylidaePhyllorhynchusdecurtatusAZCANVUT
Moorish Wall GeckoPhyllodactylidaeTarentolamauritanicaCA
Ocellated SkinkScincidaeChalcidesocellatusAZ
Mountain SkinkScincidaePlestiodoncallicephalusAZNM
Gilbert's SkinkScincidaePlestiodongilbertiAZCANV
Many-lined SkinkScincidaePlestiodonmultivirgatusAZNMUT
Great Plains SkinkScincidaePlestiodonobsoletusAZNM
Western SkinkScincidaePlestiodonskiltonianusAZCANV
Chihuahuan Spotted WhiptailTeiidaeAspidoscelisexsanguisAZNM
Orange-throated WhiptailTeiidaeAspidoscelishyperythraCA
New Mexico WhiptailTeiidaeAspidoscelisneomexicanaAZNMUT
Sonoran Spotted WhiptailTeiidaeAspidoscelissonoraeAZNM
Giant Spotted WhiptailTeiidaeAspidoscelisstictogrammaAZNM
Tiger WhiptailTeiidaeAspidoscelistigrisAZCANMNVUT
Desert Grassland WhiptailTeiidaeAspidoscelisuniparensAZNM
Plateau Striped WhiptailTeiidaeAspidoscelisveloxAZNMUT
Red-backed WhiptailTeiidaeAspidoscelisxanthonotaAZ
Brahminy BlindsnakeTyphlopidaeIndotyphlopsbraminusAZ
Western Diamond-backed RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotalusatroxVAZCANMNV
Mojave Desert SidewinderViperidaeCrotaluscerastes cerastesV
Sonoran Desert SidewinderViperidaeCrotaluscerastes cercobombusV
Colorado Desert SidewinderViperidaeCrotaluscerastes laterorepensV
Arizona Black RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotaluscerberusVAZNM
Midget Faded RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotalusconcur
Rock RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotaluslepidusVAZNM
Banded Rock RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotaluslepidus klauberi
Western Black-tailed RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotalusmolossusVAZNM
Western RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotalusoreganusVAZCANVUT
Twin-spotted RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotaluspriceiVAZ
Southwestern Speckled RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotaluspyrrhusVAZCANVUT
Red Diamond RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotalusruberVCA
Mohave RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotalusscutulatusVAZCANMNVUT
Panamint RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotalusstephensiVCANV
Tiger RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotalustigrisVAZ
Prairie RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotalusviridisVAZNMUT
Ridge-nosed RattlesnakeViperidaeCrotaluswillardiVAZNM
Western MassasaugaViperidaeSistrurustergeminusAZNM
Arizona Night LizardXantusiidaeXantusiaarizonaeAZ
Bezy's Night LizardXantusiidaeXantusiabezyiAZ
Sandstone Night LizardXantusiidaeXantusiagracilisCA
Granite Night LizardXantusiidaeXantusiahenshawiCA
Island Night LizardXantusiidaeXantusiariversianaCA
Sierra Night LizardXantusiidaeXantusiasierraeCA
Desert Night LizardXantusiidaeXantusiavigilisAZCANVUT
Wiggins' Night LizardXantusiidaeXantusiawigginsiCA
Western Pond TurtleActinemysmarmorata
Spiny SoftshellApalonespinifera
Painted TurtleChrysemyspicta
Mojave Desert TortoiseGopherusagassizii
Sonoran Mud TurtleKinosternonsonoriense
Common Box TurtleTerrapenecarolina
Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake, Crotalus Mitchelli Pyrrus

Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake, Crotalus Mitchelli Pyrrus

Taxonomy Tree to Classify Reptiles

Below are the family, genus, and species belonging to the Order Squamata.

We placed it in a “tree format” for you to see how each is related.

  • Family: Boidae [Boas]
    • Genus: Lichanura (Rosy Boa)
      • Species: orcutti (Coastal Rosy Boa or Northern Three-Lined Boa)
      • Species: trivirgata (Desert Rosy Boa)
  • Family: Colubridae
    • Genus: Arizona (Glossy Snake)
      • Species: elegans (Glossy Snake)
        • Subspecies: eburnata (Desert Glossy Snake)
    • Genus: Heterodon (hognose snake, sand viper, hog-nosed snake, North American hog-nosed snake, and sometimes puff adder)
      • Species: nasicus (Western Hognose Snake)
    • Genus: Hypsiglena (Night Snake)
      • Species: jani (Texas Night Snake aka Chihuahuan Night Snake)
      • Species: ochrorhynchus (Spotted Night Snake)
        • Subspecies: nuchalata (California Night Snake)
      • Species: torquata (Night Snake)
    • Genus: Lampropeltis (Kingsnake)
      • Species: californiae (California Kingsnake)
      • Species: getula (Eastern Kingsnake, Common Kingsnake, and Chain Kingsnake)
      • Species: pyromelana (Arizona Mountain Kingsnake aka Sonoran Mountain Kingsnake)
      • Species: splendida (Desert Kingsnake)
      • Species: triangulum (Milksnake)
    • Genus: Masticophis (Whipsnake)
      • Species: flagellum (Coachwhip aka Whipsnake)
      • Species: lateralis (California Whipsnake)
        • Subspecies: euryxanthus (Alameda Whipsnake aka Alameda Racer)
      • Species: taeniatus (Striped Whipsnake)
        • Subspecies: teniatus (Desert Striped Whipsnake)
    • Genus: Oxybelis (Vine Snake)
      • Species: aenus (Mexican Vine Snake or brown vine snake)
    • Genus: Phyllorhyncus  (Leafnose Snake)
      • Species: browni (Saddled Leafnose Snake)
      • Species: decurtatus (Spotted Leafnose Snake)
    • Genus: Pituophis (gopher snakes, pine snakes, and bullsnakes)
      • Species: catenifer (Gopher Snake)
        • Subspecies: affinis (Sonoran Gopher Snake)
    • Genus: Rhinocheilus (Long-nose Snake)
    • Genus: Salvadora (Patch-nosed Snake)
      • Species: hexalepis (Western Patch-nosed Snake)
    • Genus: Sonora (Ground Snake)
      • Species: semiannulata (Western Ground Snake)
    • Genus: Tantilla (centipede snakes, blackhead snakes, and flathead snakes)
    • Genus: Thamnophis (Garter Snake)
      • Species: couchii (Sierra Garter Snake)
      • Species: cyrtopsis (Blackneck Garter Snake)
      • Species: elegans (Wandering Garter Snake)
      • Species: eques (Mexican Garter Snake)
      • Species: marcianus (Checkered Garter Snake)
      • Species: sirtalis (Common Garter Snake)
        • Subspecies: infernalis (California Red-Sided Garter Snake)
    • Genus: Trimorphodon (Lyre Snake)
  • Family: Elapidae
    • Genus: Micruroides (Coral Snake)
      • Species: euryxanthus (Sonoran Coral Snake, Western Coral Snake, Arizona Coral Snake)
  • Family: Helodermatidae (beaded lizard)
    • Genus: Heloderma (toxicoferan lizards)
      • Species: suspectus (Gila Monster)
  • Family: Iguanidae
    • Genus: Aspidoscelis
    • Genus: Callisaurus
      • Species: draconoides: Zebra-tailed Lizard 
    • Genus: Coleonyx
      • Species: variegatus: Western Banded Gecko
    • Genus: Crotaphytus
      • Species: bicinctores: Desert Collared Lizard 
    • Genus: Dipsosaurus
    • Genus: Gamelia
      • Species: wislizenii: Long-nosed Leopard Lizard 
    • Genus: Heloderma
    • Genus: Hemidactylus
      • Species: turcicus: Mediterranean House Gecko 
    • Genus: Phrynosoma
      • Species: platyrhinos: Desert Horned Lizard 
    • Genus: Sauromalus (Chuckwalla)
      • Species: ater: Common Chuckwalla 
  • Family: Phrynosomatidae 
    • Genus: Sceloporus
      • Species: graciosus: Common Sagebrush Lizard 
      • Species: occidentalis: Western Fence Lizard 
      • Species: uniformis: Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard 
    • Genus: Phrynosoma
      • Species: douglasii: Pygmy Short-horned Lizard
      • Species: hernandesi: Greater Short-horned Lizard 
    • Genus: Urosaurus
      • Species: graciosus: Long-tailed Brush Lizard
      • Species: ornatus: Ornate Tree Lizard 
    • Genus: Uma 
      • Species: scoparia: Mojave Fringe-toed Lizard 
    • Genus: Uta
      • Species: stansburiana – Common Side-blotched Lizard
  • Family: Scincidae [Skinks]
    • Genus: Plestiodon
      • Species: gilberti – Gilbert’s Skink 
      • Species: skiltonianus – Western Skink 
  • Family: Viperidae
    • Genus: Crotalus [Rattlesnake]
      • Species: atrox – Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
      • Species: cerastes (Sidewinder, Horned Rattlesnake, or Sidewinder Rattlesnake)
        • Subspecies: cerastes (Mojave Desert Sidewinder)
        • Subspecies: cercobombus (Sonoran Desert Sidewinder)
        • Subspecies: laterorepens (Colorado Desert Sidewinder)
      • Species: cerberus: (Arizona Black Rattlesnake aka Black Rattlesnake)
      • Species: concur – Midget Faded Rattlesnake, Faded Rattlesnake, and Yellow Rattlesnake 
      • Species: helleri – South Pacific Rattlesnake
      • Species: lepidus (Blue Rattlesnake, Eastern Rock Rattlesnake, Green Rattlesnake, Little Green Rattlesnake, Pink Rattlesnake, Rock Rattlesnake, Texas Rock Rattlesnake, and White Rattlesnake)
        • Subspecies: klauberi (Banded Rock Rattlesnake)
      • Species: LutosusGreat Basin Rattlesnake 
      • Species: mitchellii (Speckled Rattlesnake)
      • Species: molossus (Black-tailed Rattlesnake)
      • Species: oreganus (Northern Pacific Rattlesnake)
        • Subspecies: abyssus (Grand Canyon Rattlesnake)
      • Species: pricei (twin-spotted rattlesnake, western twin-spotted rattlesnake, Price’s rattlesnake, Arizona spotted rattlesnake, spotted rattlesnake, and Arizona twin-spotted rattlesnake)
      • Species: pyrrhus (Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake)
      • Species: scutulatus (Mojave Green Rattlesnake)
      • Species: stephensii (Panamint Rattlesnake)
      • Species: viridis (Prairie Rattlesnake)
      • Species: willardi (Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake, Willard’s rattlesnake, Willard’s rattler)
        • Subspecies: obscurus (New Mexico Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake)
        • Subspecies: willardi (Arizona Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake)
    • Genus: Gyalopion (Hooknose Snake)
      • Species: Canum (Western Hooknose Snake)
  • Family: Xantusiidae
    • Genus: Xantusia
      • Desert Night Lizard (Xantusia vigilis)

Black-tailed Rattlesnake

Reptile Trivia

  1. Did you know that October 21st is National Reptile Awareness Day?
  2. All reptiles have scales.
  3. Reptiles are 350 million years old.
  4. Tortoises are the longest-living reptiles.
  5. Some reptiles can change color.
  6. Reptiles do not sweat.
  7. The Arizona State Reptile is the Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi willardi).
  8. Snakes are venomous, not poisonous.
  9. Snakes do not have eyelids, instead, they protect their eyes with a pair of modified scales called eye caps.

Reptiles in Nevada

More than 52 registered species of reptiles live in Nevada, where 12 are considered venomous and an additional 6 are considered dangerous. [We have almost 60 listed below for our list located in Nevada.]

Venomous species of snakes include the sidewinder, western diamondback, and Great Basin rattlesnakes.

41 species of reptiles and 12 species of amphibians have been recorded at Lake Mead National Recreation Area

All reptiles and amphibians in the recreation area hibernate during the colder months of the year, usually from November through February.

Other species of reptiles include the venomous Gila monster, northern desert horned lizard, sagebrush lizard, leopard lizard, western fence lizard, short-horned lizard, and the Nevadan official state reptile: the threatened desert tortoise.

What is a Desert Tortoise

Related article >> Snakes in Nevada

The desert tortoise, which can live up to seventy years, is found in southwestern Nevada and is the largest reptile in the southwestern United States.

In parts of the state, the population has decreased thirty to fifty percent due to predation, disease, vandalism, and illegal collection by humans.

Portrait of chuckwalla lizard basking on rock

Below are the articles we have written and others will be added once the articles are published.

Reptiles in the Southwest

Lizards And Skinks Of The Southwest

Snakes Of The Southwest (Venomous)

References Used