Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The common chuckwalla, Sauromalus ater, occurs in the southwestern United States and in parts Mexico. In Utah, the species occurs only in the southern portion of the state. It is included on the Utah Sensitive Species List because of habitat modification and other threats.

Chuckwallas are predominantly found near cliffs, boulders, or rocky slopes, where they use rocks as basking sites and rock crevices for shelter. Chuckwallas are primarily herbivorous (they eat plants), although insects are also consumed.

Female chuckwallas lay one clutch of five to fifteen eggs during the summer months. Chuckwallas are fairly large lizards, sometimes reaching over eight inches in length, not including the tail.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.