Coleonyx variegatus

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Coleonyx variegatus
Coleonyx Variegatus.jpg
Western banded gecko
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Gekkonidae
Subfamily: Eublepharinae
Genus: Coleonyx
Species: C. variegatus
(Baird, 1858)[2]
Binomial name
Coleonyx variegatus

The western banded gecko (Coleonyx variegatus) is a species of gecko found in the southwestern United States (southern California, southwest New Mexico, southern Arizona, Utah, Nevada) and northern Mexico (Sonora, northwest Baja California). Five subspecies are recognized.[3]


Western banded geckos are terrestrial lizards, ranging in length from 4–6 inches (10–15 cm). Hatchlings measure 1 inch (2.5 cm).[4] The body is sandy coloured with dark bands broken into patches. The tiny scales give its skin a silky texture. Unlike typical geckos, it has prominent eyes with movable lids.[citation needed]


Western banded geckos are found in a wide range of habitats, including creosote bush and sagebrush desert, pinyon-juniper woodland, and catclaw-cedar-grama grass associations in the eastern part of its range and chaparral areas in the west. Their elevational range extends from below sea level to about 1,520 m (4,990 ft) asl.[1]


The western banded gecko is secretive and nocturnal, foraging at night for small insects and spiders, and is one of the few reptiles that control scorpion populations by eating baby scorpions. If captured, they squeak and may discard their tail. As a defense mechanism, they can also curl their tails over their bodies to mimic a scorpion.[4] Females lay up to three clutches of one to two soft-shelled eggs in the spring and summer. Emerging on warm nights around 80 degrees F, they can be seen around porch lights looking for an easy meal, retreating if the temperature rises too high or drops too low.[5] Eggs hatch after six weeks.[4]


  1. ^ a b Hammerson, G.A., Frost, D.R. & Gadsden, H. (2007). "Coleonyx variegatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Baird,S.F. 1859. Description of new genera and species of North American lizards in the museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 1858: 253-256
  3. ^ Coleonyx variegatus at the Reptile Database. Accessed 17 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus)". Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  5. ^ Brennan, Thomas C. "Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus)". Online Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Arizona. Retrieved 2009-06-25.