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What is a Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris)

What is a Collared Lizard

Collared Lizard Overview

The Collared Lizard, also known as the Oklahoma Collard Lizard, Yellow-Headed Collared Lizard, and Eastern Collared Lizard, is a species of lizard found in North America known for its bright colors and ability to sprint on its hindlegs. The Collared Lizard has been recorded sprinting at speeds that reach 16 mph and while that’s not the record for being the fastest lizard in the world, it’s still incredible for something that small.

As stated before, the Collared Lizard is easily identifiable from its coloration which can be a combination of bright blue, yellow, orange, and green. The name Collared Lizard comes from the bands of black on its neck making it seem like the lizard has, as the name would state, a collar.

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Collared Lizard

I love the colors of the Collared Lizard above and this guy was used for us to pull our colors from for our website.


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Crotaphytidae
Genus: Crotaphytus
Species: C. collaris

Related Article >> Reptiles

Size and Body Description

Large head with conspicuous black and white collar across back of neck, flattened tail. Color: tan to olive, pale yellow crossbands. Mature males have blue-gray throat with black center, large dark blotches in the groin, while females show red-orange spots on sides. young are vividly crossbanded but lack throat coloring and groin blotches.


6 to 13 inches (15 to 33 cm) long


Insects, small lizards


Collared Lizards breeding season begins in spring, around March into early April, with eggs being laid in July with some taking as long as October to be laid. During that time, eggs are incubated for 50 to 100 days depending on the temperature.  Female Collared Lizards will lay around 4 to 6 eggs on average but larger females can produce more.


Throughout much of the Great Basin, including southeastern Oregon and adjacent western Idaho, western Utah, Nevada, western Arizona, and southeastern California into northern Baja California.

Rocky terrain; canyons, arroyos, rocky outcrops with sparse vegetation

How Long do Collared Lizards Live

On average, Collared Lizards will live between 5 to 8 years in the wild


As of writing this, the Collared Lizard is not protected by any federal laws or regulations as their population numbers appear to be stable.


Runs on hind legs when frightened. Fearsome appearance and coloring; harmless, but may bite if handled.

Likes to bask on large boulders. Wary and hard to catch during the heat of the day.

Additional Photos

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References Used