Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata (Gerrhonotus multicarinatus)


enlarge +

Southern Alligator Lizard
credit: Althepal

All Images

1 article:

Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Anguidae, Anguid Lizards view all from this family

Description Long prehensile tail, up to twice the length of its body. Yellow eyes. Sides have distinct fold. Back and tail have crossbands. Center belly scales striped.

Dimensions 25.4-42.8cm. (10-16 7/8")

Subspecies California - head mottled. California.
Oregon - Head lacks marks. Washington, Columbia, Oregon into California.
San Diego - Head lacks marks. Scales in rows on thighs, 4-5 keeled. San Joaquin Valley to L.A. to Santa Catalina Island and Baja California.

Breeding Multiple clutches, 2-3. 1-41 eggs per clutch.

Habitat Open woodland, grassland and moist foothills.

Range Washington to Oregon, California and Baja California.

Discussion Diurnal. Climbs bushes and trees to hunt for insects. Tail aids climbing by wrapping around branches. Bites if grabbed roughly. Tail will dislodge if caught. Will re-grow but not as colorful or long as before.