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Urosaurus ornatus.jpg
Urosaurus ornatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Lacertilia
Infraorder: Iguania
Family: Phrynosomatidae
Genus: Urosaurus
Hallowell, 1854[1]
9 species (see text)

Urosaurus is a genus of lizards, commonly known as tree lizards or brush lizards, belonging to the New World iguanian family Phrynosomatidae.[1] Species in the genus Urosaurus can be distinguished from members of the genus Sceloporus by the presence of a gular (under neck) fold and granular lateral scales. They can be distinguished from members of the genus Uta by the presence of enlarged (sometimes only slightly) dorsal scales.[citation needed]

Urosaurus have been used as a model system in lizard life-history studies, and populations produce two or more clutches of eggs per year.[2][3] Field studies have also shown a cost of reproduction in a natural New Mexico population of the species Urosaurus ornatus.[4]


There are nine species:[5]


  1. ^ a b "Urosaurus Hallowell, 1854". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  2. ^ Michel, L. (1976). "Reproduction in a southwest New Mexican population of Urosaurus ornatus". The Southwestern Naturalist. 21 (3): 281–299. doi:10.2307/3669714. JSTOR 3669714. 
  3. ^ Ballinger, R. E. (1984). "Survivorship of the lizard, Urosaurus ornatus linearis, in New Mexico". Journal of Herpetology. 18 (4): 480–481. doi:10.2307/1564108. 
  4. ^ Landwer, A. J. (1994). "Manipulation of egg production reveals costs of reproduction in the tree lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)". Oecologia. 100 (3): 243–249. doi:10.1007/BF00316951. 
  5. ^ Urosaurus at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database

Further reading[edit]

  • Hallowell E. 1854. "Descriptions of new Reptiles from California". Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 7: 91-97. (Urosaurus, new genus, p. 92).