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threatened and/or endangered

Desert Iguana Dipsosaurus dorsalis


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Desert Iguana
credit: Wilson44691

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Family: Iguanidae, Iguanas view all from this family

Description Blunt, medium-sized, pale gray-tan to cream with a light brown reticulated pattern on backs and sides. Down centre back is a row of slightly-enlarged, keeled dorsal scales that become slightly larger as you move down the back. Brown spots on backs of legs, stripes on tail. Tail 1O times longer than body from snout to vent. Belly pale. During breeding season, the sides become pinkish in both sexes.

Dimensions 25.4-40.6cm. (10-16")

Subspecies Northern. (D.d. dorsalis)

Breeding April-May. 3-8 eggs in a clutch laid June-August. Hatch August-September.

Habitat Semi-arid to arid areas. Creosote bushes and rocks.

Range California, Nevada through w. Arizona to Mexico.

Discussion Dirunal. When threatened they flee to nearest rodent burrow for safety. Often seen active in temperatures up to 115F (46C). Climb into bushes if they get too hot. Diet is mainly of vegetation. Also insects and carrion.