Sceloporus variabilis

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Rosebelly lizard
Sceloporus variabilis marmoratus side.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Phrynosomatidae
Genus: Sceloporus
Species: S. variabilis
Binomial name
Sceloporus variabilis
Wiegmann, 1834

Sceloporus variabilis, commonly known as the rosebelly lizard, is a species of lizard, which is endemic to Central America and North America.

Geographic range[edit]

It ranges from the United States in southern Texas, through eastern Mexico, and into Central America as far south as Costa Rica.


dorsal view

S. variabilis is one of the smaller species of the genus Sceloporus. Adults may attain a snout-vent length (SVL) of 54 mm (2.1 in). With unbroken tails, they may reach a maximum total length of 140 mm (5.5 in).[3]

Dorsally, it is tan or olive, with a double series of dark brown spots. There are two yellowish dorsolateral stripes, one at each side of the back.[4] Males are darker on the side below the dorsolateral stripe.[5] Ventrally, it is dirty white or yellowish. Males have a large pink blotch on each side of the belly, which is bordered with dark blue, and they also have a black mark on the axilla.[4]

The supraoculars are small, and they are bordered medially by a row of small scales, which prevent them from contacting the median head shields. The dorsal scales are keeled, pointed, and spiny. There are 58-69 dorsal scales from the interparietal shield to the base of the tail. A postfemoral pocket is present. Males have 10-14 femoral pores.[5]


The three recognized subspecies of S. variabilis are:

Some sources consider S. v. marmoratus to be its own species, and some sources also consider S. v. olloporus to be merely a local variation of S. v. variabilis, and not an actual subspecies.


  1. ^ Chaves, G.; Lamar, W.; Porras, L.W. & Sunyer, J. (2013). "Sceloporus variabilis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2013: e.T198414A2525951. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-2.RLTS.T198414A2525951.en. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ The Reptile Database.
  3. ^ Conant, R. 1975. A Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 429 pp. ISBN 0-395-19977-8 (paperback). (Sceloporus variabilis marmoratus, pp. 99-100, Fig. 21 + Plate 16 + Map 71.)
  4. ^ a b Boulenger, 1885. p. 236-237.
  5. ^ a b Smith, H.M., and E.D. Brodie, Jr. 1982. Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Golden Press. New York. 240 pp. ISBN 0-307-13666-3 (paperback). (Sceloporus variabilis, pp. 114-115.)

Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the Lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Second Edition. Volume II. Iguanidæ,... Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, Printers.) London. xiii + 497 pp. + Plates I.- XXIV. (Sceloporus variabilis, pp. 236–237.)
  • Wiegmann, A.F.A. 1834. Herpetologia Mexicana, seu descriptio amphibiorum Novae Hispaniae, quae itineribus comitis de Sack, Ferdinandi Deppe et Chr. Guil. Schiede in Museum Zoologicum Berolinense pervenerunt. Pars prima, Saurorum species amplectens, adiecto Systematis Saurorum Prodromo, additisque multis in hunc amphibiorum ordinem observationibus. C.G. Lüderitz. Berlin. iv + 54 pp. + 10 Plates. (Sceloporus variabilis, p. 51.)

External links[edit]