Granite night lizard

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Granite night lizard
Xantusia henshawi.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Infraorder: Scincomorpha
Family: Xantusiidae
Genus: Xantusia
Species: X. henshawi
Binomial name
Xantusia henshawi
Stejneger, 1893

The granite night lizard (Xantusia henshawi ) is a species of xantusiid lizard endemic to North America.[2]


The specific name, henshawi, is in honor of American naturalist Henry Wetherbee Henshaw.[3]

Geographic range[edit]

X. henshawi is found in Mexico in the Mexican state of Baja California, and also in the United States in adjacent southern California.[2]


X. henshawi is flat-bodied with a broad, flat head and a soft skin. It has rounded, dark dorsal spots on a pale yellow or cream background. Its scales are granular on its dorsum, but large and squarish on the ventral surface. These lizards have large eyes with vertical pupils, and they lack eyelids.[4]

Habitat and behavior[edit]

Granite night lizards are often found on rocky slopes with large exfoliating boulders and abundant crevices, but are occasionally found in coastal sage scrub and chaparral without boulders. They are active in crevices during the day, but move on the surface at night.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hollingsworth B, Hammerson GA (2007). "Xantusia henshawi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2 (3.1). International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved December 31, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Xantusia henshawi ". The Reptile Database.
  3. ^ 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. (Xantusia henshawi, p. 121).
  4. ^ a b Fisher, Robert N.; Case, Ted J. (1997). A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Coastal Southern California. San Diego: Department of Biology, University of California at San Diego. 46 pp. ISBN 978-0966005905. USGS Western Ecological Research Center website.

Further reading[edit]

  • Smith HM, Brodie ED Jr. (1982). Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. New York: Golden Press. 240 pp. ISBN 0-307-13666-3. (Xantusia henshawi, pp. 84–85).
  • Stebbins RC. (2003). A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition. The Peterson Field Guide Series ®. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 533 pp. ISBN 978-0-395-98272-3. (Xantusia henshawi, p. 306 + Plate 35 + Map 77).
  • Stejneger L. (1893). Diagnosis of a new California lizard. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 16: 467. (Xantusia henshawi, new species).