List of Lacertilia families

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Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Lepidosauria
Order: Squamata
Günther, 1867

This is a list of the extant Lacertilia families. Larcertilia is the suborder of reptiles commonly known as lizards.


There are five infraorders which separate the lizards, these are: Diploglossa, Gekkota, Iguania, Platynota and Scincomorpha. This separation is based mainly on morphological similarities between family groups.

The Diploglossans and Platynotans are two closely related infraorders which are have very diverse families. Very few generalisations can be placed upon these families morphologically. Many species are limbless, while others have fully formed limbs. It is believed that these lizards are the closest lizard relation to the snakes.

The Gekkotans are the second most diverse group of lizards. They can be morphologically distinguished by the absence of temporal arches, which allows greater moveability of the head. Most species also have cloacal sacs and fixed eyelids.

The Iguanians are another diverse group of lizards. All iguanians are fully limbed. Most species ambush their prey, capture it with their tongue and have skin modification, such as crests and fans, used for many different reasons.

The Scincomorphans are the most diverse group of lizards, accounting for almost half the species of lizards. The major distinguishing morphological feature of the Scincomorphs, is the presence of unsocketed teeth on the inner face of the jaw bones. They also lack the skin modifications present in many of the iguanians. This family contains varying degrees of limb reduction, from completely formed limbs to completely absent of limbs.

As with most taxonomic classifications, there are many different interpretations of the evolutionary relationships. These include moving of families to different infraorders, merging or splitting of the infraorders and merging and splitting of the families.

Family Common Names Example Species Example Photo
Oppel, 1811
Glass lizards Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis) Anguidae.jpg
Gray, 1852
American legless lizards California legless lizard (Anniella pulchra) Anniella pulchra.jpg
Cope, 1866
Knob-scaled lizards Chinese Crocodile Lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus) Chin-krokodilschwanzechse-01.jpg
Family Common Names Example Species Example Photo
Boulenger, 1884
Blind lizards Dibamus nicobaricum -
Gray, 1825
Geckos Thick-tailed Gecko (Underwoodisaurus milii) Underwoodisaurus milii.jpg
Boulenger, 1884
Legless lizards Burton's Snake Lizard (Lialis burtonis) -
Family Common Names Example Species Example Photo
Spix, 1825
Agamas Eastern Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata) Bearded dragon04.jpg
Gray, 1825
Chameleons Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) Chamaelio calyptratus.jpg
Frost & Etheridge, 1989
Casquehead lizards Plumed Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons) Plumedbasiliskcele4 edit.jpg
Frost & Etheridge, 1989
Collared and leopard lizards Common Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris) Collared lizard in Zion National Park.jpg
Frost & Etheridge, 1989
Wood lizards or clubtails Club-tail Iguana (Hoplocercus spinosus) -
Iguanidae Iguanas Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) Marineiguana03.jpg
Frost et al., 2001
- Darwin's Iguana (Diplolaemus darwinii) -
Frost & Etheridge, 1989
Madagascan iguanas Chalarodon (Chalarodon madagascariensis) -
Frost & Etheridge, 1989
Earless, spiny, tree, side-blotched and horned lizards Greater Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus texanus) Reptile tx usa.jpg
Frost & Etheridge, 1989
Anoles Caronlina Anole (Anolis carolinensis) Anolis carolinensis.jpg
Frost & Etheridge, 1989
Neotropical ground lizards (Microlophus peruvianus) Mperuvianus.jpg
Family Common Names Example Species Example Photo
Helodermatidae Gila monsters Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum)
Lanthanotidae Earless Monitor Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) -
Varanidae Monitors lizards Perentie (Varanus giganteus) Perentie Lizard Perth Zoo SMC Spet 2005.jpg
Family Common Names Example Species Example Photo
Cordylidae Spinytail lizards Girdle-tailed lizard (Cordylus warreni) Cordylus breyeri1.jpg
Gerrhosauridae Plated lizards Sudan Plated Lizard (Gerrhosaurus major) Gerrhosaurus major.jpg
Gymnophthalmidae Spectacled lizards - -
Oppel, 1811
Wall or true lizards Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida) Perleidechse-20.jpg
Oppel, 1811
Skinks Western Blue-tongued Skink (Tiliqua occipitalis) Tiliqua occipitalis.jpg
Teiidae Tegus or whiptails Blue Tegu (Tupinambis teguixin) Goldteju Tupinambis teguixin.jpg
Xantusiidae Night lizards Granite Night Lizard (Xantusia henshawi) Xantusia henshawi.jpg


  • Cogger, H.G.; R.G. Zweifel; D. Kirschner (2004). Encyclopedia of Reptiles & Amphibians Second Edition. Fog City Press. ISBN 1-877019-69-0. 
  • "Tropiduridae". Archived from the original on 2006-04-18. Retrieved 2006-05-30.