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Class Reptilia
Order Squamata
Suborder Sauria
Family Phrynosomatidae


Urosaurus ornatus (Baird & Girard 1852)—Tree LizardPleistocene distribution of Urosaurus ornatus

Urosaurus ornatus, photo by Carl S. LiebThis is a small, widespread lizard common in much of the Southwest from lower forest into desert habitats. Its small size almost certainly negatively biases recovery.

Fig. 1. Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus). Photograph by Carl S. Lieb.


Mid Wisconsin: U-Bar Cave (Harris 1987: cf. gen. et sp.).

Late Wisconsin: Picacho Peak (Van Devender et al. 1991); Shafter Midden (UTEP); Upper Sloth Cave (Logan and Black 1979).

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Deadman Cave (Mead et al. 1984); Howell's Ridge Cave (Van Devender and Worthington 1977).

Literature. Harris 1987; Logan and Black 1979; Mead et al. 1984; Van Devender and Worthington 1977; Van Devender et al. 1991.


Uta sp.—Side-blotched LizardsRegional Pleistocene distribution of Uta sp.

Rancholabrean/Early Holocene: Metro Rail Universal City Station (Jefferson 2014).

Literature. Jefferson 2014.


Uta stansburiana Baird & Girard, 1852—Side-blotched LizardRegional Pleistocene distribution of Uta stansburiana

Utastansburiana, photo by Carl S. Lieb

Fig. 1. Uta stansburiana photograph by Carl S. Lieb.

Another small lizard widespread in the Southwest, the Side-blotched Lizard is a reptile of arid, sparsely vegetated areas. Absence from the full-glacial deposits of Dry Cave (which were carefully picked for small herptiles by J. Applegarth) implies absence from the area in pluvial times; Davis and Verbeek (1972) thought that these lizards were limited to areas warm enough to allow maturity after only one hibernation period. Thus absence from Eddy County likely was due to low warm-season temperatures (Applegarth 1979).


Late Blancan/Irvingtonian: Vallecito Creek, Anza-Borrego Desert (Cassiliano 1999).

Irvingtonian/Rancholabrean: Cadiz (Jefferson 2014: cf.); Emery Borrow Pit (Jefferson 1991a).

Rancholabrean: Bedford Properties (Jefferson 1991a); Piute Ponds (Jefferson 2014).

Mid Wisconsin: Pacific City (Wake and Roeder 2009).

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Diamond Valley (Springer et al. 2009); Rancho La Brea (Brattstrom 1953).

Late Wisconsin: Brass Cap Point (Van Devender and Mead 1978); Desert Almond (Van Devender et al. 1977a); Maricopa (Jefferson 1991a); Vulture Cave (Mead and Phillips 1981); Wellton Hills (Van Devender and Mead 1978)

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Howell's Ridge Cave (Van Devender and Worthington 1977); Solar One (Jefferson 1991a).

Literature. Applegarth 1979; Brattstrom 1953; Cassiliano 1999; Davis and Verbeek 1972; Jefferson 1991a, 2014; Mead and Phillips 1981; Springer et al. 2009; Van Devender and Mead 1978; Van Devender and Worthington 1977; Van Devender et al. 1977a; Wake and Roeder 2009.


Last Update: 6 Jan 2016