Sagebrush lizards, along with Western Fence Lizards are in the genus Sceloporus, and are known as Spiny Lizards. This common name refers to the highly keeled and "spiny" scales found dorsally on species in this genus. Sagebrush lizards have this characteristic scalation, but the scales are smaller and finer than those found on Western Fence Lizards (the other Sceloporus species found in Idaho). The keeled dorsal scales may have a variety of ground colors, but gray or tan is normal. The ground color is broken by a lighter gray or tan stripe running down the center of the back (vertebral stripe) and two light stripes, one on each side (dorsolateral stripes), (Nussbaum et al. 1983). The neck and sides of these lizards may have a yellow or orange tinge and this is exaggerated in females during breeding season. Sagebrush Lizards lack any orange or yellow coloration on the posterior of the limbs, which is not true for the Western Fence Lizard (Stebbins 1985). The ventral coloration of Sagebrush Lizards is generally white or a light cream color. Male Sagebrush Lizards have two vivid blue patches on the stomachs, and may have blue mottling on their throat. Females and juveniles for the most part, lack this blue coloration, but may have some faint blue-black mottling near the edges of the stomach and on the throat (Storm and Leonard 1995).
Sagebrush LizardSceloporus graciosusBlue bellied lizardlizardblue belly