Common Sagebrush Lizard

October 23, 2015
Heidi Rockney and Karen Wu

Name: Common Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Order: Lizard (Squamata)
Family: Spiny Lizards (Phrynosomatidae)

What they look like

  • Common sagebrush lizards are somewhat small lizards that are 2 to 3.5 inches long.
  • Their back is made-up of tan or gray spiny scales and three lighter stripes running along its length.
  • Their underside is white or yellow, although adult males also have large bright blue patches on their stomach and throat.

Where they live

  • View a map of where they live.
  • Common sagebrush lizards can be found in many areas of the western United States, including Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, California, Utah, Nevada, Texas, southern Idaho, northern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and western Colorado.
  • Primarily live in sagebrush.
  • They can also be found in pinyon-juniper woodlands, open pine forests, and Douglas fir forests.

What they eat

  • Common sagebrush lizards feed on a wide variety of bugs, including beetles, ants, flies, caterpillars, aphids, spiders, ticks, and mites.


  • Between June and August, females lay one or two clutches of eggs in loose soil about 1 inch deep.
  • Each clutch has from 2 to 8 eggs, which hatch in about 2 months.


  • Even though decreased habitat quality in some areas may threaten common sagebrush lizards, they are considered “least concern” due to their large distribution and numerous large stable populations.
  • View their status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Map of Common Sagebrush Lizard distribution in Washington state.

Map of Common Sagebrush Lizard distribution in Washington state. Learn more on the NatureMapping Foundation website.

Explore more of the Amphibians & Reptiles of Washington or check out All About Amphibians.

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