Sceloporus graciosus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Phrynosomatidae

Scientific Name: Sceloporus graciosus Baird & Girard, 1852
Common Name(s):
English Common Sagebrush Lizard, Sagebrush Lizard
Taxonomic Notes: Sceloporus arenicolus formerly was included in this species (see discussion in Degenhardt et al. 1996).

Collins (1991, 1997) and Collins and Taggart (2002) listed subspecies vandenburgianus of southern California and Baja California as a distinct species, but they did not provide any data to support this treatment. Wiens and Reeder (1997) also listed this lizard as a species but again did not specifically address taxonomic status. Crother et al. (2000) briefly commented on the proposal to treat vandenburgianus as a species but retained it as a subspecies of S. graciosus. We follow Grismer (2002) in treating S. vandenburgianus as a species distinct from S. graciosus.

See Sites et al. (1992) for a review of phylogenetic hypotheses for lizards of the genus Sceloporus.

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 the relatively large and stable extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size. No major threats have been identified. The disjunct populations in southern California and Baja California warrant further taxonomic study and might need to be separately assessed.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This lizard ranges from Washington, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota south to marginal north and central Sierra San Pedro Martir in Baja California, Mexico, northern Arizona, and northwestern New Mexico, and eastward into western Nebraska (Stebbins 2003). Elevational range extends from around 150 to about -3,200 m (500 to about 10,500 feet) (Stebbins 2003). The disjunct populations in southern California and the Sierra San Pedro Martir in Baja California were treated as a distinct species by Grismer (2002).
Countries occurrence:
Mexico; United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is represented by many hundreds of collection sites (e.g., see Nussbaum et al. 1983, Baxter and Stone 1985, Censky 1986, Degenhardt et al. 1996, Hammerson 1999). The total adult population size is unknown but certainly exceeds 100,000. The species is common (up to dozens per hectare) in many areas throughout the range (see Degenhardt et al. 1996, Hammerson 1999). Extend of occurrence, area of occupancy, and population size appear to be relatively stable or perhaps slowly declining.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Habitats include sagebrush and other types of shrublands (e.g., manzanita and Ceanothus brushland), also pinyon-juniper woodland and open pine and Douglas fir forests; occupied areas have with open ground and some low bushes (Degenhardt et al. 1996, Hammerson 1999, Stebbins 2003). This is a ground dweller that regularly perches on rocks, logs, or snags; it uses rodent burrows, shrubs, logs, etc., for cover.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats have been identified. Locally, some populations are negatively affected by various kinds of habitat degradation.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in many national parks and monuments. Other than further taxonomic research, no direct conservation measures are needed for this species as a whole

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
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
1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy

Bibliography [top]

Baxter, G.T. and Stone, M.D. 1980. Amphibians and Reptiles of Wyoming. Wyoming Game and Fish Department. 137 pp.

Censky, E.J. 1986. Sceloporus graciosus. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 386: 1-4.

Collins, J.T. 1991. Viewpoint: a new taxonomic arrangement for some North American amphibians and reptiles. SSAR Herpetological Review 22(2): 42-43.

Collins, J.T. 1997. Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians and reptiles. Fourth edition. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Herpetological Circular No. 25. 40 pp.

Collins, J.T. and Taggart, T.W. 2002. Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians, turtles, reptiles and crocodilians. Fifth edition. Publication of The Center for North American Herpetology, Lawrence, Kansas. Iv + 44pp.

Crother, B.I., Boundy, J., Campbell, J.A., de Queiroz, K., Frost, D.R., Highton, R.H., Iverson, J.B., Meylan, P.A., Reeder, T.W., Seidel, M.E., Sites Jr., J.W., Taggart, T.W., Tilley, S.G. and Wake, D.B. 2000. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Herpetological Circular No. 29. 82 pp.

Degenhardt, W.G., Painter, C.W. and Price, A.H. 1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Xix + 431 pp.

Grismer, L.L. 2002. Amphibians and Reptiles of Baja California, Including its Pacific Islands and the Islands in the Sea of Cort├ęs. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California.

Hammerson, G.A. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles in Colorado. Second edition. University Press of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.

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

Nussbaum, R.A., Brodie Jr., E.D. and Storm, R.M. 1983. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Pacific Northwest. University Press of Idaho. 332 pp.

Sites Jr., J.W., Archie, J.W., Cole, C.J. and Flores-Villela, O. 1992. A review of phylogenetic hypotheses for lizards of the genus Sceloporus (Phrynosomatidae): implications for ecological and evolutionary studies. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 213: 1-110.

Weins, J.J. and Reeder, T.W. 1997. Phylogeny of the spiny lizards (Sceloporus) based on molecular and morphological evidence. Herpetological Monographs 11: 1-101.

Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Sceloporus graciosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T64106A12743889. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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