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Earless Lizard in WSNM.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Lacertilia
Infraorder: Iguania
Family: Iguanidae
Subfamily: Phrynosomatinae
Genus: Holbrookia
Girard, 1851

Holbrookia is a genus of earless lizards, known commonly as the lesser earless lizards, which contains three recognized species found throughout the southwestern and central United States and northern Mexico. They are characterized by having no external ear openings, presumably to prevent sand from entering their bodies when they are digging.


The generic name, Holbrookia, is in honor of American zoologist, John Edwards Holbrook.[1][2]


Lesser earless lizards grow to approximately 2.0-2.5 inches (50-65 mm) snout-to-vent length, plus a tail 3-4 inches (75-100 mm) long. They are typically grey or tan in color, with black blotching. The males usually have blue patches on either side of their bellies, whereas the females do not. Females will often change to have bright orange patches when gravid.


Holbrookia species are diurnal, basking lizards. They spend the vast majority of their time sunning on rocks, even in the heat of the day, until the surface temperature reaches approximately 104°F, when they will retreat to a rock crevice or burrow. They are insectivorous.


Geographic range[edit]

Earless lizards (genera Cophosaurus and Holbrookia) are found in the southwestern and central United States, in the states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and as far north as Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming. They are also found in Mexico, in the states of Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Sinaloa, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas and Veracruz.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beltz E. 2006. Scientific and Common Names of the Reptiles and Amphibians of North America – Explained. [1]
  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. (Holbrookia, p. 125).

External links[edit]