Baja California leopard lizard

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Baja California leopard lizard
Gambelia copei.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Iguanidae
Genus: Gambelia
Species: G. copeii
Binomial name
Gambelia copeii
(Yarrow, 1882)

The Baja California leopard lizard (Gambelia copeii ) is a species of lizard.


The specific name, copeii, is in honor of American herpetologist and paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope.[2]


G. copeii is between 8 and 14 cm (3.1 and 5.5 in) long, and has a smoky gray color and darker gray or black dorsal spots, edged in a lighter shade. The dorsal pattern appears mottled or occelated. There are light crossbars on the dorsum, and light gray or white on the venter. It has small granular scales. The large head is distinct from the neck, and the lining of mouth and throat is purplish-black. Juvenile lizards are similar to adults, but have more distinct banding across the dorsum. Females develop red-orange blotches on the ventral side during breeding season. Males have femoral pores.


The Baja California leopard lizard is an uncommon species. They are powerful bipedal runners. Adults can inflict a painful bite. They prefer chaparral habitats with an open understory.


  • This article is based on a description from the website of Robert N. Fisher and Ted J. Case, "A Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Coastal Southern California", US Geological Survey.
  1. ^ Hollingsworth, B. & Hammerson, G.A (2007). "Gambelia copeii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Gambelia copeii, p. 59).