Panamint alligator lizard (Elgaria panamintina)

The Panamint alligator lizard, (Elgaria panamintina), is a species of lizard in the Anguidae family.


Elgaria panamintina is endemic to California, from 2,500–7,513 feet (762–2,290 m) in the desert mountain ranges of Inyo and Mono and Counties. They include the Panamint Range of Death Valley National Park, the Inyo Mountains, the White Mountains, and the Coso Mountains.


They are 3⅝—6 inches (9.2—15.2 cm) long from snout to vent. The tail length on this species is amazingly long—usually longer than the body.

This species is also known to be quite aggressive and bites when threatened.


Riparian areas in the desert, rocky canyons fed with a spring or a stream.

Conservation Status

California Department of Fish and Wildlife lists Elgaria panamintina as a species of “special concern”.


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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.