Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by George Oliver
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The New Mexico whiptail, Aspidoscelis neomexicana, is a small lizard that is native to areas of New Mexico, western Texas, and northern Chihuahua. The species has apparently been introduced and become established in Petrified Forest National Park of eastern Arizona and in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area of northern Utah. This lizard occurs in grasslands, riparian habitats, and disturbed areas, typically in areas with sandy soil. New Mexico whiptails are active during the day, although they become inactive during cold times of year.

All New Mexico whiptails are females, and thus reproduce via parthenogenesis (eggs are not fertilized, but still develop). Individuals lay a single clutch of two to four eggs during the summer, and these eggs take about two months to hatch. The diet of the New Mexico whiptail consists mainly of spiders and insects.


  • 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.