Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Mason Holmes
Photo Copyright Mason Holmes

The plateau striped whiptail, Aspidoscelis velox, is found in southeastern Utah, southwestern Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. This lizard inhabits mountainous wooded areas, as well as lower riparian woodlands. Plateau striped whiptails are usually active in late spring, summer, and early fall. Similar to many other reptiles, they are inactive during cold times of the year.

All plateau striped whiptails are females, and thus reproduce via parthenogenesis (eggs are not fertilized, but still develop). Individuals lay a single clutch of three to five eggs during June or July. As is the case with most relatively small lizards, the diet of the plateau striped whiptail consists mainly of insects. These lizards are dark brown or black in color, with six to seven light-colored stripes running down their backs. They have long tails that fade to a light-blue color at the ends.


  • 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.