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Texas Lizards

Texas Lizards
A Field Guide

In this extensively illustrated field guide, two of the state’s most knowledgeable herpetologists present the first complete identification guide to all fifty-one native and established exotic lizard species that live in Texas.

Series: Texas Natural History Guides™

May 2015
This book is out of print and no longer available.
352 pages | 4.5 x 7.25 | 229 color photos, 53 b&w maps |

“Texas offers the opportunity to observe lizard diversity like no other part of the country,” writes Laurie J. Vitt in the foreword to Texas Lizards. From the moist eastern Piney Woods to the western deserts, lizards can be found in every part of Texas. The state has forty-five native and six naturalized species of lizards, almost half of the 115 species that live in the continental United States. Yet Texas lizards have not received full coverage in regional field guides, and no other guide dedicated solely to the state’s lizards has ever been published.

Texas Lizards is a complete identification guide to all fifty-one native and established exotic lizard species. It offers detailed species accounts, range maps, and excellent color photographs (including regional, gender, and age variations for many species) to aid field identification. The authors, two of the state’s most knowledgeable herpetologists, open the book with a broad overview of lizard natural history, conservation biology, observation, and captive maintenance before providing a key to Texas lizards and accounts of the various lizard families and species. Appendices list species of questionable occurrence in Texas and nonestablished exotic species. Informational resources on Texas lizards, a map of Texas counties, a glossary, a bibliography, and indexes of common and scientific names round out the volume.

  • Foreword (Laurie J. Vitt)
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
    • What Is a Lizard?
    • Natural History
      • Activity and Seasonality
      • Reproduction
      • Behavior
    • Conservation
      • Texas Biogeography and Landforms
      • Habitat Loss
      • Pollution
      • Climate Change
      • Introduced Species
      • Collecting and Trade as a Cause of Decline
    • Observing and Collecting Lizards
      • Observing Lizards
      • Photographing Lizards
      • Collecting Lizards
      • Legal Aspects of Collecting Lizards
      • Permits and Collecting Lizards in Texas
      • Threatened, Endangered, or Protected Nongame Species
    • Maintenance of Lizards
      • Maintaining Lizards in Captivity
      • Creating Lizard Habitat
      • Handling Lizards
    • Museum and Preserved Lizard Specimens
    • Scientific and Common Names
    • Dichotomous Key to Texas Lizards
  • Dichotomous Keys
  • Key to Texas Lizards
  • Systematic Accounts
  • Order Squamata, Suborder Iguania
    • Family Crotaphytidae
      • Eastern Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris)
      • Reticulate Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus reticulatus)
      • Long-nosed Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii)
    • Family Iguanidae
      • Mexican Spiny-tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura pectinata); introduced species
    • Family Phrynosomatidae
      • Greater Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus texanus)
      • Spot-tailed Earless Lizard (Holbrookia lacerata)
      • Lesser Earless Lizard (Holbrookia maculata)
      • Keeled Earless Lizard (Holbrookia propinqua)
      • Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum)
      • Greater Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi)
      • Round-tailed Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma modestum)
      • Common Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)
      • Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)
      • Rose-bellied Lizard (Sceloporus variabilis)
      • Canyon Lizard (Sceloporus merriami)
      • Mesquite Lizard (Sceloporus grammicus)
      • Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus)
      • Eastern Fence Lizard Complex (Sceloporus undulatus complex)
      • Texas Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus olivaceus)
      • Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister)
      • Blue Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus cyanogenys)
      • Crevice Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus poinsetti)
    • Family Polychrotidae
      • Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)
      • Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei); introduced species
  • Order Squamata, Suborder Scleroglossa
    • Infraorder Gekkota
    • Family Eublepharidae
      • Texas Banded Gecko (Coleonyx brevis)
      • Reticulated Gecko (Coleonyx reticulatus)
    • Family Gekkonidae
      • Rough-tailed Gecko (Cyrtopodion scabrum); introduced species
      • Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus); introduced species
      • Indo-Pacific House Gecko (Hemidactylus garnoti); introduced, unisexual species
      • Mediterranean Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus); introduced species
    • Infraorder Scincomorpha
    • Family Scincidae
      • Coal Skink (Plestiodon anthracinus)
      • Prairie Skink (Plestiodon septentrionalis)
      • Four-lined Skink (Plestiodon tetragrammus)
      • Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus)
      • Broad-headed Skink (Plestiodon laticeps)
      • Many-lined Skink (Plestiodon multivirgatus)
      • Great Plains Skink (Plestiodon obsoletus)
      • Ground Skink (Scincella lateralis)
    • Family Teiidae
      • Texas Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis gularis)
      • Rusty-rumped Whiptail (Aspidoscelis septemvittata)
      • Little Striped Whiptail (Aspidoscelisinornata)
      • Marbled Whiptail (Aspidoscelis marmorata)
      • Six-lined Racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineata)
      • Gray Checkered Whiptail (Aspidoscelis dixoni); unisexual species
      • Common Checkered Whiptail (Aspidoscelis tesselata); unisexual species
      • Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis exsanguis); unisexual species
      • New Mexico Whiptail (Aspidoscelis neomexicana); unisexual species
      • Desert Grassland Whiptail (Aspidoscelis uniparens); unisexual species
      • Laredo Striped Whiptail (Aspidoscelis laredoensis); unisexual species
    • Infraorder Diploglossa
    • Family Anguidae
      • Texas Alligator Lizard (Gerrhonotus infernalis)
      • Slender Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus)
  • Appendix A: Species with Texas Records of Questionable Origin
  • Appendix B: Nonestablished Exotic Species
  • Appendix C: Lizard Informational Resources
  • Appendix D: Map of Texas Counties
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index of Common Names
  • Index of Scientific Names

Troy D. Hibbitts, a high school science teacher, is a past president and current member of the Texas Herpetological Society. He coauthored Texas Amphibians: A Field Guide with Bob L. Tipton, Terry L. Hibbitts, Toby J. Hibbitts, and Travis J. LaDuc.Toby J. Hibbitts is Biological Curator at Texas A&M University’s Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections. His research focus is behavioral and comparative ecology of amphibians and reptiles.


“[P]rovides an excellent overview of all 51 species present in the state…This book should be in all Texas libraries.”