Dipsosaurus dorsalis

Scientific Name:Dipsosaurus dorsalis
Common name:desert iguana
Rank and Status   
Global Rank:G5 Native Status:Native
Subnational (State) Rank:S3 Endemic:No
US ESA Status:None Sand Dunes:No
NNHP Tracking Status:Watch List Wetland:No
Other Agency Status Status Last Updated Status Comments
Bureau of Land Management - Nevada Sensitive BLM Nevada Sensitive Species List dated 2017-10-01
Nevada Wildlife Action Plan - 2012 Species of Conservation Priority
Nevada Wildlife Action Plan - 2005 Species of Conservation Priority
CCVI Score Moderately Vulnerable Conf. Mod.; Factors increasing vulnerability are natural and anthropogenic barriers, climate change mitigation, and historical hydrological niche, disturbance, and physical habitat.
Distribution (NV Counties)

Status: Confident or certain


Status: Predicted or probable

Summary Occurrence Data
Occurrence Count:2
Total Observed Area (hectares):Not Available
Maximum Known Elevation (m):Not available
Minimum Known Elevation (m):Not Available
Dipsosaurus dorsalis data at NatureServe
Dipsosaurus dorsalis photos and data at Encyclopedia of Life
Character Abstract
Identification Comments:
Subspecies Comments:
Food Habits:Feeds mainly on vegetable matter (e.g., leaves, buds, flowers) but also eats insects and carrion.
Phenology Comments:
Reproduction Comments:Mates April to May (Behler and King 1979). Lays clutch of 3-8 eggs June-August. In CA, reaches reproductive size in 31-33 months (Krekorian 1984); other estimates higher. Annual survivorship high (Krekorian 1984).
Migration Mobility:
Habitat Comments:This species inhabits creosote bush desert with hummocks of loose sand and patches of firm ground with scattered rocks. Its northern limit appears to coincide with that of creosote bush. It occurs from below sea level in desert sinks to about 1,500 m (5,000 ft) (Stebbins 2003).
Ecology comments:This species is inactive during cold weather and more tolerant of high temperatures than other lizards. It is considered the most heat-tolerant reptile in North America (Jones and Lovich 2009). Desert iguanas are most active on hot, sunny days. Remains close to hatching site (usually within 40 m (130 ft) after 3 years) (Krekorian 1984).
Version Date:

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