Chuckwalla

Sauromalus ater

Did you know?

When threatened, Chuckwallas gulp air and inflate their body cavity to wedge themselves in to tight crevices, hence why Chuckwallas historical nomenclature was once known as Sauromalus obesus; (sauros) meaning “lizard”, (omalus) meaning “flat” and (obesus) meaning “large” or “obese”.  Colour variation depends on geographic location, temperature and surroundings.

Home: Western United States and Northern-western Mexico; Southern Nevada; Southern Utah; Southeastern California; and Western Arizona south to Southern Baja California and West-central Sonora, Mexico.

Diet: Herbivorous; plants, leaves, buds, flowers, fruits.

Lifestyle: Inhabiting rocky deserts where the air is hot and dry, with moderate amounts of vegetation and foliage growth, amongst numerous rocks and crevices for hiding and hibernation; such as rocky hillsides and out crops or old lava flows. 

Young: Females will lay around 5-16 eggs per clutch, incubating them for around 35 days.  Young are fully independent once hatched and will reach sexual maturity around 2-3 years of age. 

Lifespan: 25 years.

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Chuckwalla