Phrynosoma douglasii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Phrynosomatidae

Scientific Name: Phrynosoma douglasii (Bell, 1828)
Common Name(s):
English Pygmy Horned Lizard, Pygmy Short-horned Lizard
Taxonomic Notes: Zamudio et al. (1997) examined mtDNA variation in short-horned lizards throughout western North America and concluded that the Pacific Northwest segment of the population should be recognized as a species (P. douglasii) distinct from the species (P. hernandesi) represented in the remainder of the range. In addition, there was no support for the recognition of any of the nominal subspecies; thus each species is best regarded as monotypic. See Hammerson and Smith (1991) for information on the correct spelling of the specific name (formerly douglassi). The specific name is here spelled with a double-i ending, since that is how it was rendered in the original description.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
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 species occurs in the northwestern United States, and formerly in southwestern Canada. It ranges from southern British Columbia (where it is apparently extirpated; Powell and Russell 1998) south to northeastern California, northern Nevada, and southern Idaho (Zamudio et al. 1997, Stebbins 2003); eastern and southern range limits have not been precisely determined; there is an old record from extreme southwestern Montana, where current status is unknown (St. John 2002, Werner et al. 2004). Its elevational range extends from around 300 to 1,830 m (1,000 to 6,000 feet) (Stebbins 2003).
Countries occurrence:
United States
Regionally extinct:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is represented by many occurrences scattered throughout its historical range. The number of occurrences with good viability is unknown, but probably there are many. The total adult population size is unknown but surely exceeds 10,000. The extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, and population size appear to be relatively stable.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This lizard ranges from semi-arid plains to high mountains: sagebrush, bunchgrass, pinyon-juniper woodland, openly spaced pines (Stebbins 2003). Usually it occurs in open, shrubby, or openly wooded areas with sparse vegetation at ground level. Soil may vary from rocky to sandy. When not active on the surface, the lizards burrow into the soil or occupy rodent burrows.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats have been identified.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in many protected areas.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
8. Desert -> 8.2. Desert - Temperate

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 12th September 2007).

Powell, G.L. and Russell, A.P. 1998. The status of short-horned lizards, Phrynosoma douglasi and P. hernandezi, in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 112: 1-16.

Stebbins, R.C. 2003. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

St. John, A. 2002. Reptiles of the Northwest. Lone Pine Publishing, Renton, Washington.

Werner, J.K., Maxell, B.A., Hendricks, P. and Flath, D.L. 2004. Amphibians and reptiles of Montana. Mountain Press Publishing Company,, Missoula, Montana. xii + 262 pp.

Zamudio, K.R., Jones, K.B. and Ward, R.H. 1997. Molecular systematics of short-horned lizards: biogeography and taxonomy of a widespread species complex. Systematic Biology 46: 284-305.

Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Phrynosoma douglasii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T64075A12741891. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
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