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Amphibians and Reptiles 

Noting those during Focus On Nature Tours 
with an (*)


Salamanders     Toads & Frogs

Turtles     Lizards     Snakes

A list of Amphibians and Reptiles of Arizona
compiled by Armas Hill

UPPER RIGHT PHOTO: a DESERT SPINY LIZARD, photographed during a FONT tour  


(AZi):  introduced in Arizona 
(t):      a threatened species

CM:   occurs (or has occurred) in the area of the Chiricahua Mountains in southeast Arizona
GC:   occurs (or has occurred) in the area of the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona


Prehistoric Amphibians & Reptiles in Arizona (Dinosaurs & Others)

Other Links: 

Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in Arizona  

A List & Photo Gallery of Arizona Birds, in 2 parts:
Part #1: Quails to Becard    
Part #2: Flycatchers to Buntings

Mammals in Arizona  (with some photos)

Butterflies in Arizona  (with some photos)  




  1. Tiger Salamander  ______  CM  GC
    Ambystoma mavortium
    Ambystoma m. mavortium 
    "Barred Tiger Salamander"  ______ 
    (generally occur south of the Salt & Gila Rivers) 
    Ambystoma mavortium nebulosum 
    "Arizona Tiger Salamander"  ______  GC
    Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi 
    "Sonoran Tiger Salamander"  ______

    The "Sonoran Tiger Salamander" in Arizona is found only in the San Rafael Valley and on adjacent slopes of the Huachuca and Patagonia mountains in eastern Santa Cruz and southwestern Cochise Counties. 
    It is listed as endangered.  

    Toads & Frogs:

  2. Couch's Spadefoot Toad  ______  CM
    Scaphiopus couchi

  3. Mexican Spadefoot Toad  ______  CM
    Spea multiplicat

  4. Plains Spadefoot Toad  ______  CM
    Spea bombifrons

  5. Great Basin Spadefoot Toad  ______  GC
    Spea intermontana

  6. Green Toad  ______  CM
    Bufo debilis

  7. Sonoran Green Toad  ______
    Bufo retiformis

  8. Red-spotted Toad (*) ______  CM  GC
    Bufo punctatus

  9. Arizona Toad  ______
    Bufo microscaphus

  10. Woodhouse's Toad  (*)  ______  GC
    Bufo woodhousi

  11. Great Plains Toad  ______  CM  GC
    Bufo cognatus

  12. Sonoran Desert Toad  (*) ______  CM
    Bufo alvarius

  13. Great Plains Narrow-mouthed Toad  ______
    Gastrophyryne olivacea

  14. Barking Frog  ______
    Craugastor augusti

  15. Lowland Burrowing Treefrog  ______
    Smilisca fodiens

  16. Canyon Treefrog  ______  CM  GC
    Hyla arenicolor

  17. Arizona Treefrog  ______
    Hyla wrightorum

  18. Pacific Treefrog  (AZi) ______
    Pseudacris regilla

  19. Western Chorus Frog  ______
    Pseudacris triseriata

  20. Northern Leopard Frog  ______  GC
    Rana pipiens

  21. Plains Leopard Frog  ______  CM
    Rana blairi

  22. Relict Leopard Frog  ______  (once thought to be extinct, this imperiled frog was rediscovered in 1991)
    Rana onca

  23. Lowland Leopard Frog  ______
    Rana yavapaiensis

  24. Chiracahua Leopard Frog  (*)  ______  CM
    Rana chiricahuensis

  25. Tarahumara Frog  ______
    Rana tarahumarae

  26. American Bullfrog  (AZi)  (*) ______  CM
    Rana catesbeiana

    An American Bullfrog photographed during a FONT Arizona tour



  27. Western Box Turtle  (*) ______  CM  GC  (another name is Ornate Box Turtle)
    Terrapene ornata
    Terrapene ornata luteola
    (subspecies in Arizona is the "Desert Box Turtle"

  28. Painted Turtle  ______
    Chrysemys picta

  29. Painted Slider  (AZi) ______  (another name is Pond Slider)
    Trachemys scripta

  30. Arizona Mud Turtle  ______
    Kinosternon arizonense

  31. Yellow Mud Turtle  ______
    Kinosternon flavescens

  32. Sonora Mud Turtle  ______  CM
    Kinosternon sonoriense

  33. Shiny Softshell  (AZi)  ______
    Apalone spinifera

  34. Desert Tortoise (t) (*)  ______  GC
    Gopherus agassiziii

    Desert Tortoise
    (photo by Marie Gardner)


  35. Desert Iguana  ______  GC
    Dipsosaurus dorsalis

  36. Common Chuckwalla  ______  GC
    Sauromalus ater 
    Sauromalus ater obsesus 
    "Western" Chuckwalla  ______  GC  

  37. Eastern Collared Lizard  ______  GC
    Crotaphytus collaris

  38. Great Basin Collared Lizard  ______  GC
    Crotaphytus bicinctores 

  39. Sonoran Collared Lizard  ______
    Crotaphytus nebrius

  40. Long-nosed Leopard Lizard  ______  GC
    Gambelia wislizenii

  41. Zebra-tailed Lizard  ______  CM  GC
    Callisaurrus draconoides

  42. Greater Earless Lizard  (*)  ______  CM
    Cophosaurus texanus

    A female Greater Earless Lizard photographed during the FONT tour in Arizona in 2008 
    (photo by Doris Potter)

  43. Common Lesser Earless Lizard  ______  CM  GC
    Holbrookia maculata

  44. Elegant Earless Lizard  ______
    Holbrookia elegans

  45. Yuman Desert Fringe-toed Lizard  ______
    Uma rufopunctata

  46. Mohave Fringe-toed Lizard  ______
    Uma scoparia 

  47. Long-tailed Brush Lizard  ______
    Urosaurus graciosus

  48. Ornate Tree Lizard  ______
    Urosaurus ornatus
    Urosaurus ornatus wrighti 
    "Cliff Tree Lizard"  ______  GC

  49. Common Side-blotched Lizard  (*) ______
    Uta stansburiana
    Uta s. stansburiana 
    "Northern Side-blotched Lizard"  ______  GC 
    Uta stansburiana stejnegeri 
    "Desert Side-blotched Lizard"  ______  GC

    Common Side-blotched Lizard
    (photo by Howard Eskin)

  50. Slevin's Bunchgrass Lizard  ______
    Sceloporus slevini

  51. Striped Plateau Lizard  ______
    Sceloporus virgatus

  52. Plateau Fence Lizard  (*)  ______  CM  GC
    Sceloporus tristichus
    Sceloporus t. tristichus 
    "Southern Plateau Fence Lizard"  _____  GC
    Sceloporus tristichus elongatus 
    "Northern Plateau Fence Lizard"  ______  GC

    A Plateau Fence Lizard photographed during a FONT Arizona tour
    at the Grand Canyon in August 2010 
    (photo by Marie Gardner)

  53. Southwestern Fence Lizard  ______  
    Sceloporus cowlesi

  54. Desert Spiny Lizard  (*) ______  CM  GC  
    Sceloporus magister

    A Desert Spiny Lizard, with its blue-green throat,
    photographed during a FONT tour in Arizona

  55. Clark's Spiny Lizard  ______  CM
    Sceloporus clarkii

  56. Yarrow's (or Mountain) Spiny Lizard  (*) ______  CM
    Sceloporus jarrovii

    A Yarrow's Spiny Lizard photographed during a FONT tour in Arizona in 2008
    (photo by Doris Potter)

  57. Twin-spotted Spiny Lizard  ______
    Sceloporus bimaculosus

  58. Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard  ______
    Sceloporus uniformis

  59. Common Sagebrush Lizard  ______  GC
    Sceloporus g. graciosus 

  60. Texas Horned Lizard  ______
    Phrynosoma cornatum

  61. Desert Horned Lizard  ______
    Phrynosoma platyrhinos
    Phrynosoma platyrhinos calidarum 
    "Southern Desert Horned Lizard"  ______  GC

  62. Flat-tailed Horned Lizard  ______
    Phrynosoma mcallii

  63. Regal Horned Lizard  ______
    Phrynosoma solare

  64. Greater Short-horned Lizard  (or Short-horned Lizard ______  GC
    Phrynosoma hernandesi

  65. Round-tailed Horned Lizard  ______
    Phrynosoma modestum

  66. Goode's Horned Lizard  ______
    Phrynosoma goodei

  67. Desert Night Lizard  ______  GC
    Xantusia v. vigilis

  68. Arizona Night Lizard  ______  GC
    Xantusia arizonae 

  69. Bezy's Night Lizard  ______
    Xantusia bezyi

  70. Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail  ______
    Aspidoscelis exsanguis

  71. Gila Spotted Whiptail  ______
    Aspidoscelis flagellicauda

  72. Sonoran Spotted Whiptail  ______
    Aspidoscelis sonorae

  73. Desert Grassland Whiptail  ______
    Aspidoscelis uniparens

    A Desert Grassland Whiptail photographed during the FONT tour in Arizona in 2008 
    (photo by Doris Potter)

  74. Plateau Striped Whiptail  ______
    Aspidoscelis velox

  75. Arizona Striped Whiptail  ______
    Aspidoscelis arizonae

  76. Pai Striped Whiptail  ______
    Aspidoscelis pai

  77. Red-backed Whiptail  ______
    Aspidoscelis xanthonota

  78. Canyon Spotted Whiptail  ______
    Aspidoscelis burti

  79. Tiger Whiptail  ______  
    Aspidoscelis tigris
    (or Cnemidophorus) tigris septentrionalis  "Northern Whiptail"  ______  GC

  80. New Mexico  Whiptail  ______  
    Aspidoscelis neomexicana

  81. Variable (Southern Many-lined) Skink  ______  GC
    Eumeces multivirgatus epipleurotus

  82. Western Skink  ______  GC  (another name is Great Basin Skink)
    Eumeces skiltonianus utahensis

  83. Mountain Skink  ______
    Eumeces callicephalus 

  84. Gilbert's Skink  ______
    Eumeces gilberti

  85. Great Plains Skink  ______
    Eumaces obsoletus

  86. Madrean Alligator Lizard  ______
    Elgaria kingii

  87. Western Banded Gecko  ______  CM
    Coleonyx variegatus
    Coleonyx v. variegatus 
    "Desert Banded Gecko"  ______  GC 
    Coleonyx variegatus utahensis 
    "Utah Banded Gecko"  ______  GC

  88. Mediterranean House Gecko  (AZi)  ______
    Hemidactylus turcicus

  89. Gila Monster  ______
    Heloderma suspectum
    Heloderma suspectum cinctum 
    "Banded Gila Monster"  ______  GC

    Gila Monster
    (photo by Marie Gardner)


  90. New Mexico Threadsnake  ______
    Leptotyphlops dissectuse

  91. Western Threadsnake  ______  CM  GC  (also called Southwestern Blind Snake)
    Leptotyphlops humilis
    Leptotyphlops h. humilis  ______ 

  92. Rosy Boa  ______
    Lichanura trivirgata

    In Arizona, there are 2 forms of the Rosy Boa, that might be separate species:

    Desert Rosy Boa ______ 
    (with rusty orange to brown stripes)
    Mexican Rosy Boa ______ 
    (with dark chocolate or black stripes)

    Mexican Rosy Boa
    (photo by Marie Gardner)

  93. Sonoran Coralsnake  ______
    Micruroides euryxanthus

  94. Sonoran Shovel-nosed Snake ______
    Chionactis palarostris

  95. Western Shovel-nosed Snake ______
    Chionactis occiipitalis

  96. Variable Sandsnake  ______
    Chilomeniscus stramineus

  97. Groundsnake  ______  (coloration & markings are extremely variable)
    Sonora semiannulata

  98. Plains Black-headed Snake  ______
    Tantilla nigriceps

  99. Smith's Black-headed Snake  ______
    Tantilla hobartsmithi

  100. Yaqui Black-headed Snake  (*) ______
    Tantilla yaquia 

  101. Chihuahuan Black-headed Snake  ______
    Tantilla wilcoxi

  102. Ring-necked Snake  ______
    Diadophis punctatus

  103. Desert Nightsnake  ______  GC
    Hypsigiena chlorophaea
    (formerly part of Hypsiglena torquata)

  104. Chihuahuan Nightsnake  ______  GC(east) 
    Hypsigiena jani 
    (formerly Hypsigiena torquata ochrorhyncha)  "Spotted Night Snake"  

  105. Hooded Nightsnake  ______  (in southeast Arizona, occurs in part of Cochise County, Santa Cruz, & southeast Pima County, from 3,000 to 8,500 feet above sea level) 
    Hypsiglena sp. 
    (a newly-described species, in 2008, not yet with a scientific name) 

  106. Sonoran Lyresnake  ______  GC  (formerly "Western Lyresnake", Trimorphodon biscutatus)
    (There are populations, possibly isolated, in the lower Grand Canyon, and in the Black Mountains in Mohave Co & the Kofa Mountains in Yuma Co.) 
    Trimorphodon lambda 

    The Sonoran Lyresnake apparently hybridizes with the Chihuahuan Lyresnake, Trimorphodon vilkinsonii, of southwest New Mexico.

  107. Gophersnake  (*)  ______
    Pituophis catenifer
    Pituophis catenifer affinis  
    "Sonoran Gopher Snake"  ______  GC
    Pituophis catenifer deserticola 
    "Great Basin Gopher Snake"  ______  GC

  108. Glossy Snake  ______ 
    Arizona elegans
    Arizona elegans eburnata 
    "Desert Glossy Snake"  ______  
    Arizona elegans noctivaga 
    "Arizona Glossy Snake"  ______
    Arizona elegans philipi 
    "Painted Desert Glossy Snake"  ______  

  109. Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake  ______
    Phyllorhynchus decurtatus

  110. Saddled Leaf-nosed Snake  ______
    Phyllorhynchus browni

  111. Mexican Hog-nosed Snake  ______  (was part of Western Hog-nosed Snake, Heterodon nasicus) 
    Heterodon kennerlyi 

  112. Chihuahuan Hook-nosed Snake ______
    Gyalopion canum

  113. Thornscrub Hook-nosed Snake  ______
    Gyalopion quadrangulare

  114. Brown Vinesnake ______
    Oxybelis aeneus

  115. Eastern Patch-nosed Snake ______
    Salvadora grahamiae

  116. Western Patch-nosed Snake ______
    Salvadora hexalepis
    Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis 
    "Mojave Patch-nosed Snake"  ______  GC

  117. Green Ratsnake ______
    Senticolis triaspis

  118. Sonoran Whipsnake ______  CM
    (formerly Masticophis) bilneatus

  119. Striped Whipsnake  ______
    Masticophis taeniatus

  120. Coachwhip  ______  GC   (with variable coloration: a black phase & a red phase)
    Coluber (formerly Masticophis) flagellum
    Coluber flagellum cingulum 
    "Sonoran Coachwhip"
    Coluber flagellum lineatulus 
    "Lined Coachwhip"  ______
    Coluber falgellum piceus 
    "Red Coachwhip, or Racer ______

  121. Striped Whipsnake  ______  GC  (has also been called Desert Striped Whipsnake)
    Masticophis t. taeniatus

  122. North American Racer  ______  (the rarest snake in Arizona) (has been called Eastern Racer)
    Coluber constrictor

  123. Long-nosed Snake  ______  (has a highly variable pattern)
    Rhinocheilus lecontei

  124. Common Kingsnake  (*)  ______  CM   
    (3 forms occur in Arizona: the "California Kingsnake", the "Desert Kingsnake" and the "Western Black Kingsnake", the western black form)
    Lampropeltis getula
    Lampropeltis getula californiae 
    "California Kingsnake"  ______
    Lampropeltis getula splendida 
    "Desert Kingsnake"  ______
    Lampropeltis getula nigrita 
    "Western Black Kingsnake"  ______ 

  125. Sonoran Mountain Kingsnake ______
    Lampropeltis pyromelana

  126. Milksnake ______
    Lampropeltis triangulum

  127. Black-necked Gartersnake  (*) ______
    Thamnophis cyrtopsis

  128. Terrestrial Gartersnake  ______
    Thamnophis elegans
    Thamnophis elegans vagrans 
    "Wandering Garter Snake"  ______  GC

  129. Checkered Gartersnake  ______
    Thamnophis marcianus

  130. Mexican Gartersnake  ______
    Thamnophis eques

  131. Narrow-headed Gartersnake  ______
    Thamnophis rufipunctatus

  132. Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake  (*) ______  CM  GC
    Crotalus atrox

    A Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake in captivity
    (photo by Marie Gardner during the FONT August 2010 Arizona Tour)

    A Skeleton of a Rattlesnake in a display at the Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge
    in southern Arizona  

    (photo by Marie Gardner, during the August 2010 FONT tour)

  133. Mohave Rattlesnake  (*) ______  CM
    Crotalus scutulatus
    Crotalus s. scutulatus  ______ 

  134. Black-tailed Rattlesnake  (*) ______  CM
    Crotalus molossus
    Crotalus m, molossus 
    "Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake"  ______  GC 

  135. Sidewinder  ______
    Crotalus cerastes

  136. Tiger Rattlesnake  ______
    Crotalus tigris

  137. Speckled Rattlesnake  ______
    Crotalus mitchellii
    Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus 
    "Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake"  ______  GC

  138. Arizona Black Rattlesnake  ______
    Crotalus cerberus

  139. Western Rattlesnake  ______
    Crotalus oreganus
    Crotalus oreganus abyssus 
    "Grand Canyon Rattlesnake"  ______  GC
    Crotalus oreganus lutosus 
    "Great Basin Rattlesnake"  ______  GC

  140. Prairie Rattlesnake  ______  CM
    Crotalus viridis
    Crotalus viridis nuntius 
    "Hopi Rattlesnake"  ______  GC

  141. Massasauga  ______  CM  (Arizona's sole surviving population is in the Tobosa grassland on the divide between the San Simon & San Bernardino valleys)
    Sistrurus catenatus

  142. Twin-spotted Rattlesnake  ______  CM
    Crotalus pricei

  143. Rock Rattlesnake  ______
    Crotalus lepidus

  144. Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake ______  (small, up to 26 inches in length)
    Crotalus willardi

    Prehistoric Amphibians & Reptiles in Arizona
    (Dinosaurs & Others)


    METOSAURS were giant amphibians of the Triassic Period.

  145. Buettneria perfecta  ______

    Buettneria perfecta is a common fossil animal in a portion of the Painted Desert National Park. It was large and flat-headed, about 10 feet long and weighing up to half a ton. This animal was a voracious predator, feeding on fish and smaller animals. With their flat heads and upward directed eyes, Buettneria probably settled in the muddy bottom of ponds where they ambushed their prey from below.       

  146. Apachesaurus gregorii  ______

    In another portion of the Painted Desert National Park, with younger sediments, there was another prehistoric giant amphibian, Apachesaurus gregorii, that was smaller but similar to Buettneria perfecta.


    ARCHOSAURS are a specialized group of reptiles that includes BIRDS and CROCODILES.

    During the Triassic Period, ARCHOSAURS were represented by AETOSAURS, PHYTOSAURS, RAUISUCHIANS, and DINOSAURS. 

    AETOSAURS were long, herbivorous reptiles, from 10 to 15 feet long, with broad flat bodies protected by plate-like scutes. Some species had large spikes on their sides or back that were possibly used for defense. 
    Aetosaurs had short limbs and small skulls with a pig-like snout for rooting in soil for plants and roots.

  147. Desmatosuchus haplocerus  ______

    A Desmatosuchus haplocerus that was in northern Arizona in the area of the Petrified Forest 
    (photo by Marie Gardner in a museum during a FONT tour)

  148. Stagonolepis wellesi  ______ 

    PHYTOSAURS were crocodile-type reptiles, with some species as large as up to 40 feet in length.

  149. Leptosuchus (Smilosuchus) gregorii  ______   

  150. Pseudopelatus pristinus  ______ 

    RAUISUCHIANS are ranked as the top terrestrial predators of the Late Triassic, with huge skulls and having powerful biting jaws and 3 inch-long serrated teeth. Some Rauisuchians could grow up to 20 feet in length.

  151. Postosuchus kirkpatricki  ______

    A Postosuchus kirkpatricki that was in northern Arizona in the area of the Petrified Forest
    (photo by Marie Gardner in a museum during a FONT tour)

  152. Poposaurus gracilis  ______ 

    DINOSAURS during the Late Triassic were mainly small, bipedal carnivorous predators including CHINDESAURUS and CAELOPHYSIS.

    Ornithischian ("bird-hipped") DINOSAURS are known from the Petrified Forest National Park in northern Arizona, but only from isolated teeth,  

    CAELOPHYSIS was an early carnivorous dinosaur that probably walked on two legs. It was about 8 feet long and could weigh 50 pounds.

    THERAPSIDS were large reptiles that possessed many mammalian characters including a "cheek bone", enlarged canine teeth, pelvis, and a specialized attachment of the skull to the spine.

  153. Placerias hesternus - a dicynodont thereapsid. This massive plant-eater was up to 9 feet long and could have weighed as much as 2 tons. 

    Placerias had a short neck, barrel-shaped body, small tail, and a beak-like skull with large tusk-like bones protruding from its upper jaw. The beak-like jaws helped them pull up and tear tough plants and roots.
    A large number of Placerias were found in a quarry in the area of the Petrified Forest National Park in northern Arizona.

    A Placerias hesternus that was in northern Arizona in the area of the Petrified Forest
    (photo by Marie Gardner in a museum during a FONT tour)   

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