Great Basin fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis longipes)

Sceloporus occidentalis longipes is a subspecies of the western fence lizard, commonly called the Great Basin fence lizard. Several subspecies of the western fence lizard, a species of phrynosomatid lizard, are found in the far western part of North America.

Geographical Range

This subspecies is found in coastal and montane southern California north to Santa Barbara County and east along the mountains into the Owens Valley and Eastern Sierra Nevada region and Great Basin Desert of northeastern California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Idaho. It is not found in the southern California deserts except in isolated groups at higher elevations in the Ord, Providence, and New York mountains, the Mid-hills region, and the Kingston Range.

The species Sceloporus occidentalis ranges from northern Baja California north to Washington and east to Idaho, Nevada and Utah.


Found in a wide variety of open, sunny habitats, including woodlands, grasslands, scrub, chapparal, forests, along waterways, suburban dwellings, where there are suitable basking and perching sites, including fences, walls, woodpiles, piles of rocks and rocky outcrops, dead and downed trees, wood rat nests, road berms, and open trail edges.


Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Photograph is available under a Creative Commons License from squamatologist

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.

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