The range of the sonoran spotted whiptail extends from southeastern Arizona to northeast Sonora (where its name originates), then spreads west into New Mexico.
They thrive in semi-desert grasslands, evergreen woodlands, and conifer forests. They can be found in a variety of terrains including canyons, wooded hills, flats and, low valleys. Most encounters are along drainages and riparian corridors. They are active in the day and hibernate in winter and late fall. The breeding season is in spring and females lay eggs in clutches of 1-10 in summer. They prey on a variety of insects such as ants, beetles, termites, and caterpillars as well as spiders.
The Sonoran spotted whiptail is a medium-sized (2.4-3.5 inches from snout to vent) and slender lizard with a long olive to brown colored tail and pointed snout. The dorsal background color is brown to black with six yellow dorsal stripes. However, the area between the two central dorsal stripes lacks spots. The scales are granular and small but the scales on the tail are bigger, keeled and rectangular-shaped. The underside of this lizard is plain and cream-colored. Juveniles lack the spots apparent in adults.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians