Phrynocephalus helioscopus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Phrynocephalus helioscopus
Species Authority: (Pallas, 1773)
Common Name(s):
English Sunwatcher
Lacerta helioscopus Pallas, 1773
Taxonomic Notes: Further taxonomic studies are needed into the relationship between Phrynocephalus helioscopus and P. persicus; as some authors treat them as being conspecific. P. horvathi is also treated by some as conspecific (recognized as a subspecies), but it is treated here as a separate species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor(s): Ananjeva, N., Tuniyev, B., Agasyan, A., Orlov, N., Tuniyev, S. & Anderson, S.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team) & Böhm, M., Collen, B., Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.
Phrynocephalus helioscopus is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This widespread species is present from Dagestan (Russia) and northeastern Iran (Kopet Dagh mountain range), through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, southern Russia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to northwestern China and northwestern Mongolia. Recorded up to 1,500 m asl.
China; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Mongolia; Russian Federation; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is generally a common species, but local declines may occur due to the conversion of land in Central Asia for agricultural use.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is present in clay and stony desert and semi-desert areas, generally with a sparse cover of vegetation. Animals can be found in dry stream beds and sandy areas mixed with pebbles (Anderson 1999).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In parts of its range, this species is threatened by overgrazing and habitat transformation to agriculture.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Other than general research activities, no direct conservation measures are currently needed for this species as a whole. In view of the species' wide range, it seems likely that it occurs within several protected areas.

Citation: Ananjeva, N., Tuniyev, B., Agasyan, A., Orlov, N., Tuniyev, S. & Anderson, S. 2010. Phrynocephalus helioscopus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 04 March 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided