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Sceloporus grammicus facts for kids

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Sceloporus grammicus
Sceloporus grammicus male.JPG
Sceloporus grammicus, male
Conservation status
Scientific classification
  • Tropidurus grammicus
    Wagler, 1830
  • Tropidolepis pleurostictus
    Gray, 1831
  • Tropidolepis grammicus
    Gray, 1831
  • Sceloporus grammicus
    Boulenger, 1885

Sceloporus grammicus is a species of lizard from Mexico and the southern United States. It is sometimes referred to as the mesquite lizard or graphic spiny lizard.

Geographic range

Sceloporus grammicus is native to the southern United States in the state of Texas, and to Mexico in the states of Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, Coahuila, San Luis Potosí, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Querétaro, and Aguascalientes.


S. grammicus ventral
Mesquite lizard (Sceloporus grammicus) ventral view of a male

Sceloporus grammicus is a flat-bodied lizard with a tail that is slightly longer than head-body length. Adult total body length varies between 10 and 17.5 cm (3.9 and 6.9 in). The dorsum is mottled olive or gray and has a pattern consisting of 3–6 dark crossbars. The forelegs and tail have narrow crossbars. Males differ from females by having blue patches and black mottling on throat, a dark line on each shoulder, and blue patches on sides of belly, sometimes bordered in black.


Sceloporus grammicus is viviparous. Litter size varies between 2 and 12. Females become sexually mature between 34 and 74 mm (1.3 and 2.9 in) in snout–vent length.


There are four recognized subspecies of Sceloporus grammicus including the nominate race:

  • Sceloporus grammicus disparilis Stejneger, 1916 — mesquite graphic lizard
  • Sceloporus grammicus grammicus Wiegmann, 1828 — southern mesquite lizard
  • Sceloporus grammicus microlepidotus Wiegmann, 1834 — northern mesquite lizard
  • Sceloporus grammicus tamaulipensis Sites & Dixon, 1981 — Tamaulipas mesquite lizard
  • Wiegmann, A.F.A. 1828. Beyträge zur Amphibienkunde. Isis (Oken) 21(4):364-383.
  • 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. Berlin, Lüderitz, iv + 54 pp.
  • Stejneger, L.H. 1916. A new lizard in the genus Sceloporus from Texas. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 29:227-230.
  • Sites, J.W. and Dixon, J.R. 1981. A new subspecies of the Iguanid lizard, Sceloporus grammicus, from Northeastern Mexico, with comments on its evolutionary implications and the status of S. g. disparilis. Journal of Herpetology 15(1):59-69.
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