A large, agile lizard usually seen basking on boulders (2), the reticulate collared lizard (Crotaphytus reticulatus) has a beautiful, regular pattern of light scales covering its back (2) (3). The arrangement of these scales gives it the common name ‘reticulate’, which means net-like (2). Species in the genus Crotaphytus are known as ‘collared’ lizards due to black markings found around the neck. However, the male reticulate collared lizard has black spots instead of a complete collar and the female either has faint markings or none at all (3) (4).
Like other members of Crotaphytus, the reticulate collared lizard has a large head and a slender neck. It has a fat body and sturdy limbs, with the back legs being twice as long as the front legs (3). The tail is slightly flattened from side to side, and it can measure over twice the reticulate collared lizard’s head-body length (3) (5).
Generally a grey to reddish-brown, the reticulate collared lizard also has a series of distinctive black spots on its back. The spots are commonly arranged in lines and neighbouring spots are sometimes merged together. In warm weather conditions, the net-like pattern on the reticulate collared lizard’s back appears bright and well-defined; however, when the lizard is chilled the pattern becomes almost indistinguishable (2) (3). The net-like markings continue down the legs, but unlike the back, the limbs and tail do not have any black spots. The underside of the reticulate collared lizard is creamy and has no markings (3).
The adult male reticulate collared lizard is larger than the female (6), but both have a similar colouration (3). During the mating season the sex differences become more noticeable, as the male reticulate collared lizard’s chest and front legs become bright yellow. The female may become pinkish and develop red bars between the rows of black spots (2) (5) (6).
Like the adult lizard, the reticulate collared lizard hatchling is greyish, but it has yellow crossbands between the black spots on its back (2).
- Lagartija De Collar Reticulada.
- Total length: 20 - 43 cm (2)
- Head-body length: 13.7 cm (2)
- Hatchling length: 9-10 cm (2)