45 Different Types of Lizards in Texas

Different Types of Lizards in Texas
Photo by Jelle Taman

Texas has more than just cowboys and barbecue as its state symbols. There are also different types of lizards in texas that can be seen scurrying across the ground or basking in the sun on rocks or logs.

Texas’s most common lizard species include western fence lizards, desert night lizards, alligator lizards, chuckwallas, green anoles, and collared lizards. 

Basically, they range in size from 1 to 2 feet long. Due to their small size, some people are surprised to learn that they are actually reptiles and not small mammals like rodents or squirrels.

When you think of lizards, you probably picture some of the more common lizard species, like the iguana or monitor lizard.

In addition, several different types of lizards in Texas can be found in the wild. Also, depending on your area, you may be able to find even more species of reptiles.

If you want to start looking for the types of lizards in Texas today, keep reading to learn about them and places where they can be found.

1. Southern Prairie Skink

Firstly, we have the Prairie Skink of the different types of lizards in Texas. If you are looking for a lizard that is easy to keep as a pet, consider picking up a southern prairie skink. This attractive little reptile has beautiful coloring. 

More importantly, it is non-aggressive, non-poisonous, needs little space, and eats very little. These traits make them great first pet lizards. They are easy to find online or at most local reptile shops. 

Moreso, you can expect to pay between $10-$30 depending on how old they are when you purchase them. Also, check your local laws before purchasing one, as they may not be legal where you live.

2. Reticulate Banded Gecko

This is one of the most common ones of types of lizards in Texas is called a reticulate banded gecko, or Homopholis fasciata.

It’s non-venomous, but it can bite when provoked. The reticulate banded gecko has diamond-shaped markings that make it distinctive. 

Interestingly, these lizards can change colors based on temperature variations or other factors. Reticulates often hide under leaves during daylight hours; they eat insects such as spiders and cockroaches. Reticulates like to live underneath rocks and wood piles. 

Further, they like dark places that provide ample cover from predators. Adults range from 1½ inches to more than 6 inches long, depending on habitat quality. Males have a distinct blue coloration under their chins.

3. Reticulate Collared Lizard

This lizard is large and bright yellow with black spots all over its body. The reticulate collared lizard can be found throughout most of Texas, ranging from urban areas to desert scrublands. It hides under rocks and debris during the day, coming out at night to hunt insects and small rodents.

Like the types above of lizard in Texas, this particular lizard is non-venomous, so it poses no threat to humans.

They can also grow up to a foot long (as measured from nose to tip), making them one of Texas’ largest lizards.

While these lizards are not endangered, they are protected by state law due to their high visibility and limited range within Texas borders.

4. Greater Earless Lizard

(Cophosaurus texanus) This is one of those weird types of lizards in Texas. They are creatures that confound people’s notions about where to find lizards in Texas.

They are occasionally found within a stone’s throw from downtown Houston but don’t be fooled by appearances. 

Meanwhile, they are most abundant in East and Central Texas, although there are records from as far west as Galveston Island.

So if you do see one during your travels around our state, feel free to note its presence with a photograph or video on iNaturalist!

5. Spot-Tailed Earless Lizard

Found from sea level to 5,000 feet elevation, spotted-tail earless lizards can be found throughout much of Texas. Look for them under logs, rocks, and other surface debris. Also, they like cacti. 

But if you’re having trouble spotting one, look for its brown tail. It often sticks out from under debris that would otherwise camouflage them.

Also, look for them in flower gardens—earless lizards love nectaring on flowers at night. We are just getting started on the types of lizards in Texas!

6. Rough-Tailed Gecko

In general, the types of lizards in Texas are lizard-like. They have scales, four legs, and a long tail that helps balance when running or jumping. Also, they have dry, scaly skin (instead of fur) and sharp claws on their feet. 

Furthermore, Rough-tailed geckos are a fairly small species, with adults ranging from two to three inches long as adults.

Like most geckos, rough-tailed geckos eat crickets and other bugs. Look for these lizards on ledges, walls, fences; anywhere there’s the rocky cover!

7. Keeled Earless Lizard

The keeled earless lizard is one of many types of lizards in Texas that you’ll find in the southwest. It’s usually between two and three inches long, making it a bit larger than some other species. The lizard has an orange or yellow body with black markings. 

Although it doesn’t have ears (hence its name), it does have small ridges on top of its head. The ridges are visible when looking closely at its skin. 

In addition, Keeled earless lizards are mainly found in rocky areas with sparse vegetation. They can sometimes be found near human settlements too. These lizards eat mostly ants but will consume other insects and flowers from time to time.

8. Texas Alligator Lizard

These guys are short-bodied, black with orange spots, and grow up to eight inches long. There are three subspecies—the Panhandle (subspecies nasicus), Central (subspecies robustus), and Trans-Pecos (subspecies terroremors)—that can be found throughout Texas.

They’re usually found near permanent water sources like rivers or lakes, where they feed on amphibians, small fish, and invertebrates.

Generally, the types of lizards in Texas are most active during summer months when it’s hot out. Their name comes from their snout shape, which resembles an alligator’s nose.

9. Brown Anole

The brown anole is small, ranging from 2 inches to 5.5 inches long, but it still packs quite a punch. The brown anole is a master of camouflage, able to change its skin color by contracting or expanding special cells in its skin. It can even turn from greenish-brown when relaxed to brown or dark gray when agitated. 

As an advantage, this ability helps it survive for long periods on land, as lizards are ectothermic (cold-blooded).

However, don’t be fooled by its cute exterior; an anole will bite hard if attacked or threatened. It’s one of the irritable types of lizard in Texas.

Commonly found throughout Texas, these reptiles will eat just about anything they can get their hands on. Specifically, they love insects as well as berries and other fruit.

10. Texas Banded Gecko

In 1981, a man in Marlin, Tex. discovered a previously unknown species of banded gecko. The lizard had been living on his property for years; he named it Coleonyx switaki switaki. 

Sadly, C. s. switaki was wiped out when its preferred habitat, mesquite brushland, was bulldozed for development soon after scientists discovered it. Today, eight populations of C. s. switaki are protected on various ranches throughout Central Texas. 

They are legally protected from harm but cannot be collected from their natural habitats without permission from state officials. Don’t stop reading as we continue learning about different types of lizards in texas

11. Eastern Collared Lizard

One of three types of lizards in Texas, eastern collared lizards are relatively large (between 8-10 inches long) with brownish-gray coloring.

They can be found throughout the state. Eastern collared lizards eat a variety of insects, including crickets, grasshoppers, spiders, and ants.

In addition to eating insects, they also eat flowers and fallen fruit from trees or bushes (including apples). They eat bird eggs and nests as well as small rodents. The primary predators are hawks.

12. Little Brown Skink

This skink is just as common as it sounds—small, brown, and easy to overlook. But that doesn’t mean it’s hard to spot. Just look for loose bark on fallen trees or rocks in wooded areas throughout central Texas. 

Furthermore, little brown skinks are diurnal; they come out during the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler.

They’re voracious feeders with a penchant for soft insects like caterpillars, beetles, millipedes, ants, termites, grasshoppers, and snails. I guess we can easily call them “small but might” compared to the other types of lizards in Texas.

13. Mediterranean House Gecko

The Mediterranean house gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus) is a small lizard among the types of lizards in Texas.

In addition, populations are known to be established in various locations. If you see tiny lizards on your walls or ceiling at night, they are probably Mediterranean house geckos. 

14. Common House Gecko

Common house geckos (Hemidactylus frenatus) are very similar to Mediterranean house geckos. However, it’s usually quite easy for even beginners to tell them apart, as common house geckos have toes instead of claws on their feet.

They are not so stressful to identify if found among other types of lizards in Texas.

15. Texas Horned Lizard

Like some other types of lizards in Texas, the horned lizard is easily identified by its spiky appearance. It has sharp horns, which run from between its eyes down its back. This lizard can be found on sandy flats and rocky hillsides with thin grasses. 

Also, its color can vary from a grayish brown to an orange or red hue. The horned lizard spends most of its day hiding under rocks or burrowing into sandy soil.

So, it is common for visitors to see one basking at a certain spot around noon each day—that’s when they are most active. They feed primarily on insects and spiders but also eat small mammals if given a chance.

16. Greater Short-Horned Lizard

We are still speaking about the types of lizards in Texas, and the next is one of the six species of horned lizard.

They are most commonly found throughout West Texas, but a few isolated populations have been found as far east as San Antonio. The Greater Short-Horned Lizard is a burrowing lizard that prefers semi-arid regions. 

For instance, prairies, grasslands, and even disturbed areas like abandoned fields. They usually hide beneath surface objects like rocks or logs during the daytime. At night they come out to hunt for prey that, including insects and other invertebrates.

17. Round-Tailed Horned Lizard

The round-tailed horned lizard is native to both California and Texas, so you’ll find them all over. These lizards can grow up to 6 inches long, with some variation depending on sex (males are larger). The most notable characteristic of these lizards is their horns. 

Particularly,  males have small horns that point backward, while females do not have horns at all. Like other horned lizards, they are diurnal (active during daylight hours) and tend to seek places with plenty of sun exposure. Rocks or sandstone hillsides are perfect for them. 

Also, they’re an adaptable species of the types of lizards in Texas: if a certain habitat type disappears, they’ll move elsewhere. There are two subspecies of round-tailed horned lizard: T. t.

18. Slender Glass Lizard

The slender glass lizard is one of six species of glass lizards, different from other types of lizards in Texas. A small-bodied reptile typically measures between 8 and 10 inches long.

In addition to its slender shape, it is also distinguished by its distinctive light blue belly with black flecks. 

Furthermore, it is most commonly found throughout west-central portions of Texas and along both sides of the border with Mexico. The slender glass lizard’s diet consists mainly of insects, spiders, and other arthropods.

Also, it can be found munching on various types of vegetation like fruits, seeds, or leaves when larger prey sources aren’t available.

19. Long-Nosed Leopard Lizard

These lizards are often mistaken for snakes and are found along rocky cliffs, steep slopes, and canyons. The Western Long-Nosed Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii) is one of two subspecies that call Texas home.

Leopard lizards get their name from their blotchy spots, similar to a leopard’s coat. Also, long noses distinguish them from other types of lizards in Texas.

When frightened or threatened, leopard lizards curl up into a ball with their heads tucked between their forelegs.

Exactly like an armadillo! These guys love rocky areas near water sources such as streams and mountain springs.

This is because they can quickly escape when they need protection from predators or harsh weather conditions.

20. Common Side-Blotched Lizard

The common side-blotched lizard lives up to its name by having a distinctive blotch located on each side of its body.

These tiny lizards grow to be about eight inches long and are one of the most popular types of lizards in Texas. 

However, side-blotched lizards can thrive in various habitats, from dry grasslands to rocky hillsides covered with cacti.

One way that you can tell these little guys apart from other similar species is by looking at their bellies. It tends to turn red after they have eaten a large meal.

21. Ornate Tree Lizard

As its name suggests, ornate tree lizards are adept climbers. These reptiles thrive in trees, avoiding predators by moving from branch to branch. At night, they venture down for foraging.

During cooler months, however, they can be found crawling around on shrubs or low-hanging branches. If you’re interested in spotting an ornate tree lizard at home or out in nature, look no further than native shrubs.

For example, sumac (Rhus spp.) or yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria). This species is also one of Texas’s most common types of lizard.

22. Green Anole

The anoles, genus Anolis, are another group of the different types of lizards in Texas. Green anoles are slender with brown bodies that are banded or mottled with shades of green or yellow. This coloration helps these reptiles blend into leafy undergrowth to hunt insects. 

They’re also excellent climbers who use their long toes for clinging while standing up on their tails. They do this so they can spot prey from above while standing still.

23. Six-Lined Racerunner

The Six-Lined Racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineata) is an insectivorous species of the types of lizard in Texas. It is found in woodland, grassland, orchards, bushes, gardens, and hedgerows. The Six-lined Racerunner averages five inches long with a 10-inch long tail. 

Additionally, its coloring can vary from grayish-brown to reddish-brown, with dark streaks and crossbands that extend over its length. The ventral side is usually a yellowish-orange color. 

A large portion of their diet consists of large insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, and ants. Though they also consume spiders as well as small invertebrates such as worms.

24. Striped Whiptail

The Little Striped Whiptail is not left out of our list of the different types of lizard in Texas. They are also called just whiptail and are typically between 2-2½ inches long but can grow to around 3 inches.

This small lizard has a gray back with black stripes and orange or red dots running along its sides. 

If you live in a warm climate, then you might find these little guys crawling around your backyard, garage, or even inside your home.

The best way to get rid of them is by keeping your yard clean and by putting down traps, especially on sunny days when they’re most active.

25. Common Spotted Whiptail

The commonly spotted whiptail, as its name implies, is a lizard that is commonly spotted around Texas. However, they are often called Texas alligator lizards because they can sometimes be found basking on logs, rocks, or tree trunks, just like an alligator.

Common Spotted Whiptails are relatively large lizards when compared to other types of lizards in Texas. They only grow up to about 10-12 inches (25–30 cm). 

They are very well adapted to living on rocky hillsides. Moreover, their scales provide excellent traction against steep rocky surfaces, and their toes allow them to climb vertical rock walls easily.

26. Common Checkered Whiptail

The common checkered whiptail’s diet consists primarily of invertebrates such as grasshoppers, beetles, crickets, and moths. It also feeds on fruit. 

Adult males are distinguished from other adult male whiptails by a red or orange strip along each side (instead of black) between their dark medial stripes.

And also, a blue tail with red lateral stripes instead of black ones. Let’s continue on the list of the types of lizards in Texas!

27. Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail

The Chihuahuan spotted whiptail is a subspecies found only in southeastern New Mexico and southwestern Texas, as well as most of northern Mexico.

They are often seen scurrying across highways or hiding under rocks or crevices during daylight hours. At night, however, they can be quite active. 

Moreover, males have even climbed into parked cars at night, hoping for warm food scraps. Unlike many other types of lizard in Texas, which rely on camouflage to hide from predators, these lizards use mimicry.

During the day, they lay low with their bodies flattened against a rock surface until darkness fell. This is when they begin actively moving about on tree trunks hunting for small insects.

28. Marbled Whiptail

The marbled whiptail is one of the types of lizards in Texas. It is a small, brown lizard growing up to eight inches long.

When threatened, it will raise its head high off its shoulders like a snake, displaying its bright yellow belly. 

Sometimes, it’s called a horned-tailed lizard because males have blue horns on their heads (the horns are actually extensions of their parietal scales). If you’re lucky enough to find one, be very careful—they tend to bite when picked up. 

29. Gray Checkered Whiptail

Next to be talked about in the list of the types of lizards in Texas is the gray checkered whiptail. This is a lizard that hails from Arizona.

Also known as flapjack lizards, they are quite colorful, with orange stripes on their sides and scales speckled with light brown coloring. 

Their bellies are gray, while their heads have light blue coloring on them; they mainly hang out along rocky hillsides.

So, if you happen to be hiking near rocky areas, you might find one of these reptiles sunning itself. In terms of size, males grow up to two feet long while females only grow about 14 inches long.

30. Plateau Spotted Whiptail

The plateau-spotted whiptail (Aspidoscelis dextrorsus) is sometimes called a six-lined whiptail. It is one of the bravest lizards compared to other types of lizards in Texas.

It lives in semiarid scrubland on rocky hillsides and sagebrush flats or sagebrush/grassland ecotones. 

As well, these lizards can burrow into loose soil with ease. This gives them protection from predators that include snakes like prairie rattlesnakes.

These lizards also will feed on ants if possible. When threatened, it stands its ground rather than attempting to escape.

31. Prairie Lizard

The Prairie Lizard is a tiny lizard, reaching an adult size of around 3 1⁄2 inches. Prairie Lizards are typically found near sandhills in Texas. This type of lizards lives most of its life on top of a big rock where it’s safe from predators.

Generally, Prairie Lizards are blue-gray or grayish-brown with irregular patterns throughout their body. They have relatively short limbs compared to other types of lizards in Texas. But they possess webbed feet, making them faster than you’d expect. 

32. Pronghorn Hedgehog Lizard

The Pronghorn Hedgehog Lizard can be recognized by their large spines that cover its back. However, some specimens don’t have any spines at all! At least, it’s still one of Texas’s most easily recognized types of lizard.

33. Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

Of all the types of lizards in Texas, this is one of the most adorable. The dunes sagebrush lizard has a unique appearance that makes it an attractive pet.

It is also known as a crevice spiny lizard. The dunes part of its name comes from where it’s typically found, sandy areas with little vegetation like riverbeds. 

Plus, Sagebrush describes its color. The dunes sagebrush lizard is mostly tan with brown blotches on its back and lighter sides with yellow or white blotches. The dunes sagebrush lizard can grow up to 8 inches long. It lives about 10 years.

34. Crevice Spiny Lizard

The crevice spiny lizard, Sceloporus poinsettii, lives in dry, rocky areas. They use their strong claws and powerful limbs to climb vertical surfaces like trees or canyon walls. These lizards are particularly active during the daytime, basking on rocks or shrubs.

However, don’t be surprised if you spot one climbing a fence post. In particular, they’re known for being good climbers and can even easily scale brick walls!

Another unique characteristic is their ability to remain motionless by mimicking a rock until predators pass them by. 

These lizards can grow up to six inches long, but that doesn’t mean they’re defenseless. Actually, their bodies are covered in sharp spikes, which can deter many predators. You don’t want to mess with this particular one out of the types of lizard in Texas.

35. Twin-Spotted Spiny Lizard

The twin-spotted spiny lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) is a species of spiny lizard from the list of types of lizards in Texas.

The twin-spotted spiny lizard grows from 4½- 9½ inches (12–23 cm) long, including its tail. It resembles several other lizards found in west Texas, with which it often shares its habitat. 

In addition, it can be distinguished from them by a light bar that runs across both sides at midbody, which continues forward onto its throat. Juveniles are patterned similarly to adults but are generally less vivid.

36. Canyon Lizard

Speaking about the types of lizards in Texas, the canyon lizard is a type that lives primarily along canyons. The areas where these lizards live are rocky and dry. Most people find it odd that there are lizards that live in such an environment. 

This is because most people don’t picture a lizard as being able to adapt well to rocky environments. However, the canyon lizard is an exception due to its unique physiology. 

Additionally, it has large toe pads on its front feet for gripping rocks. Likewise, it has claw-like toes on its hind legs for easy climbing of rocky walls. It will seek refuge on cliffs or under large rocks during daylight hours to protect itself from predators.

37. Texas Spiny Lizard

Of the types of lizards in Texas, the Texas Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus olivaceus) is a lizard endemic to Central Texas. It is also known as one of eleven species of ground lizards within its genus.

The spiny lizard is an example of an atypical reptile that was previously mistaken for a snake. Or even a limbless amphibian due to its relatively small size, thin body, and lack of limbs. 

Its spines (hence its name) are only displayed when threatened or picked up by humans. Its coloration ranges from black or dark brown on top with orange, white, or yellow-orange blotches along its sides.

38. Graphic Spiny Lizard

The Texas Horned Lizard is a reptile that can be found on rocky terrain throughout Texas. This lizard has horns on its head, hence its name. Some people report seeing them, but those sightings are rare.

An interesting fact about these lizards is that they change color during different times of their lives. Juveniles will have a grayish hue with white spots, while adults will have brownish skin with orange spots. 

Also, the spines on their backs range in color from dull yellow to bright red, depending on how old they are. Juveniles tend towards redder colors, while adults lean towards yellower hues.

39. Rose-Bellied Lizard

This is one of the several types of lizards in Texas. In particular, they made their home in Central Texas. Rose-bellied lizards are typically yellowish with black lines on their sides. 

However, they’re skittish, so don’t be surprised if you see them racing away from you, but they aren’t particularly fast.

Their tails break off easily if grasped, leaving them vulnerable to predators. Don’t worry, though—they grow new ones! Rose-bellied lizards eat various bugs and fruit, making them popular reptile pets.

They prefer sandy soil with loose rocks where they can hide out. Also, they can be found under tin and wooden objects.

40. Blue Spiny Lizard

Blue spiny lizards are mainly native to Texas and Mexico. They are also called bluetail lizards, eastern blue-tailed lizards, or just blue-tails.

These small reptiles come in shades of grey, brown, green, and black, with a row of blue scales extending from their eyes across their back. 

Plus, the scales will darken as they mature from baby blue to sky blue. Male blue spiny lizards have larger bodies than females do, but their tails are also longer. It takes about 10 years for them to reach adult size.

41. Great Plains Skink

The Great Plains skink is one of those types of lizards in Texas that live on short grasslands, prairies, and sand hills.

The Great Plains skink gets its name from where it is usually found – great plains or dunes – areas of flat land with little vegetation. 

Moreso, you can spot a Great Plains skink by looking for a brownish-gray lizard with black or dark-brown spots.

If you find one sunbathing on a rock or digging under brush piles or dead leaves, you are probably looking at a juvenile Greater Plains Skink.

42. Many-Lined Skink

The Many-Lined Skink is named for its yellowish markings along its body. Most skinks are nocturnal, but these guys come out during the early morning or late afternoon hours when it’s sunny and warm.

These active lizards have been known to move quickly from rock to rock and even easily climb on low-hanging plants. 

So if you’re looking for them, you can spot them running about under leaf litter or inside abandoned mines. Consequently, keep your eyes peeled! 

43. Coal Skink

The coal skink is a small, dark lizard with irregular dark stripes on a grayish-black base color. It is found throughout most areas of Texas and prefers dry habitats like grasslands, rocky hillsides, and outcrops.

During mating season, mature males often lose their stripes while displaying to females or fighting other males. 

Like many other types of lizards in Texas that live close to human habitation, it tends to be nocturnal. But it can occasionally be seen basking near buildings during daylight hours. 

If you live in an area known for having coal skinks, particularly one located near rocky hillsides, look for them under rocks or logs at night.

You may also see them running through fields as you drive around your neighborhood early on summer evenings.

44. Common Five-Lined Skink

Compared to some other types of lizards in Texas, Five-lined skinks can also be found statewide, living under logs and rocks.

These lizards are well camouflaged, with mottled brown scales that provide excellent cover. If threatened, they may lose their tails to escape predators. 

Five-lined skinks eat insects, worms, and spiders. Young five-lined skinks may also eat small amphibians such as salamanders.

45. Broad-Headed Skink

Finally, on the list of the types of lizard in Texas, this lizard, a type of skink, grows up to 10 inches long. It is usually brown with white stripes down its back. It’s one of two types native to Texas. 

Also, Broad-headed skinks spend their days hiding under debris or rocks. However, they come out at night to hunt for worms, insects, snails, and even small lizards. If you see one when it’s warm in summer or fall, it may look for something cool to lie on.

Finding a rock that still has sun warming would be ideal. The broad-headed skink is not endangered; some populations are threatened by urban sprawl.

Conclusion

There are different types of lizards in texas. The lizard population in Texas is really large. Some people may think all lizards are created equal.

However, this is not true, especially when finding these lizards in different places around our state. 

Knowing where these lizards are living will help you know what kind of lizard you’re looking for when you go on a hunt.

You can find these reptiles in backyards, forests, streams, and even sand dunes. Because they have such varied habitats, many different types of lizard species live right here in our great state! 

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