Collared Lizard

Category: Wildlife

The collared lizard is a brightly colored reptile from North America, known for its distinctive double black neck bands that resemble a collar. Like the basilisk and frilled lizard, they are able to run on their hind legs.

Collared Lizard

Collared Lizard

Scientific & Common Names

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Reptilia

Order - Squamata

Suborder - Iguania

Family - Iguanidae

Genus - Crotaphytus

Species - C. collaris

Common Names - Collared Lizard, Common Collared Lizard, Eastern Collared Lizard, Oklahoma Collared Lizard, Mountain Boomer


There are several species of collared lizards, all of which have two black bands on their necks that give them their common name. The most well-known collared lizard (C. collaris) has a yellowish head and a bright blue-green body. They have large heads and strong jaws, and can grow up to 15 inches in length, including the tail. Females are less brightly colored than males.


Females develop red spots on their bodies when they are carrying eggs. They lay between one and 13 eggs in summer, and there is no parental nurturing behavior once the eggs are hatched. Males are highly territorial and will sometimes fight to the death.


Collared lizards live in dry desert habitats in Mexico and the southwest and central United States. They favor rocky areas with lots of vegetation, but can be found in a wide variety of areas. They eat insects, rodents and other small lizards, and sometimes engage in cannibalism (eating others of their own species). In addition to other collared lizards, these reptiles are preyed upon by roadrunners and 




In Oklahoma, where it is the state reptile, the collared lizard is known as the "mountain boomer". The origin of this nickname is uncertain, as collared lizards do not make sounds of any kind. Collared lizards are common in the reptile trade, and are kept as pets. They can live up to eight years in captivity, and must be fed often to account for their high metabolism.

Present Status

Collared lizards are abundant throughout their range, and are not threatened or endangered.