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eastern collared lizard

eastern collared lizard (Crotaphytus collaris) [nonnative]
Photo © David W. Brewer

Features and Behaviors

The eastern collard lizard is about 14 inches long. The big head is followed by a narrow neck. The tail is round. There are two, black bands on the back of the neck. The body color is green, blue-green or yellow with an orange or yellow throat. Males are more brightly colored than females. Spots are present on the back except in juveniles. Juveniles have dark crossbands on the back.

This lizard lives on bluffs, in rocky areas and in rocky forest openings. A male may sit on the highest rock in its home range to observe its territory. Mating occurs in spring, and the eggs, three to 10 per clutch, are laid in June or July. Eggs hatch in August or September. Eastern collard lizards eat insects and small lizards. This species was introduced by humans to Johnson County in the 1990s.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Crotaphytidae

Illinois Status: common, nonnative