Sceloporus poinsettii

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Crevice spiny lizard
Sceloporus poinsettii (1).jpg
Sceloporus poinsettii
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Iguanidae
Subfamily: Phrynosomatinae
Genus: Sceloporus
Species: S. poinsettii
Binomial name
Sceloporus poinsettii
Baird & Girard, 1852

The crevice spiny lizard (Sceloporus poinsettii ) is a species of small, phrynosomatid lizard.


The epithet, poinsettii, is in honor of American physician, botanist, and statesman, Joel Roberts Poinsett.[1][2]

Geographic range[edit]

S. poinsettii is endemic to the Chihuahuan Desert, in the US states of Texas and New Mexico, and in the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango.


The crevice spiny lizard is typically grey in color, but sometimes can have a ruddy red-brown appearance with a black and white collar around the neck region. The underside is typically light grey, but males often have blue patches on either side of their bellies. The tail typically has black banding. Their scales have a distinctly spiny texture. They can grow to 11.8 cm (4.6 in) snout-to-vent length, and 31.1 cm (12.2 inches) total length.[3]


Crevice spiny lizards are typically shy and nervous, fleeing up a rock face or into a crevice if approached. They prefer semi-arid habitats, often of limestone rock, where there are numerous holes and easily accessible cracks.


Crevice spiny lizards are insectivorous, consuming a wide variety of spiders, beetles, and other insects, but they will sometimes also consume tender vegetation.


S. poinsetti is one of the several species of Sceloporus that are ovoviviparous. Breeding occurs in the spring, and a litter of up to 11 young are born in midsummer.


Five subspecies are recognized as being valid, including the nominotypical subspecies[4]


  1. ^ Beltz, Ellin (2006). Scientific and Common Names of the Reptiles and Amphibians of North America - Explained.
  2. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Sceloporus poinsetii, p. 209).
  3. ^ Smith, H.M., and E.D. Brodie, Jr. (1982). Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. New York: Golden Press. 240 pp. ISBN 0-307-13666-3. (Sceloporus poinsetti, pp. 118-119).
  4. ^ "Sceloporus poinsettii ". The Reptile Database.

Further reading[edit]

  • Baird, Spencer F., and Charles Girard (1852). "Characteristics of some New Reptiles in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institution". Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 6: 125-129. (Sceloporus poinsettii, new species, pp. 126-127).
  • Behler, John L., and F. Wayne King (1979). The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 743 pp. ISBN 0-394-50824-6. (Sceloporus poinsetti, pp. 527-528 + Plate 354).
  • Conant, Roger (1975). A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Second Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. xviii + 429 pp. + Plates 1-48. ISBN 0-395-19979-4 (hardcover), ISBN 0-395-19977-8 (paperback). (Sceloporus poinsetti, pp. 100-101 + Plate 17 + Map 66).
  • Stebbins, Robert C. (2003). A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin. xiii + 533 pp. ISBN 978-0-395-98272-3. (Sceloporus poinsettii, p. 285 + Plate 31 + Map 88).
  • Zim, Herbert S., and Hobart M. Smith (1956). Reptiles and Amphibians: A Guide to Familiar American Species: A Golden Nature Guide. New York: Simon and Schuster. 160 pp. (Sceloporus poinsetti, pp. 56, 155).

External links[edit]