Shasta Alligator Lizard hiding in rocks

Shasta Alligator Lizard

The Shasta Alligator Lizard is a medium-sized lizard with short limbs, a long tail, and a slim body. This subspecies can have a variety of color patterns, but is typically brown, olive, or grey with dark patches or irregular crossbands along the body.
Elgaria coerulea shastensis
5-10 Years
  • Priority Species
  • State Protected
Least Concern
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

The Shasta Alligator Lizard is generally found in cooler, damper places in a variety of forested habitats. They can also be found in grassy grown-over areas at the edge of woodlands, in clear-cuts, near streams, and rock outcrops. They find cover under rocks, logs, and dense vegetation. The Shasta Alligator Lizard is only found in the extreme Northwest part of Nevada.

  • Cold desert shrubland and sagebrush
  • Grasslands
  • Pinyon juniper forests


  • Habitat Loss
  • Overcollection

Natural History

The Shasta Alligator Lizard is a subspecies of the Northern Alligator Lizard. They are known to eat a variety of small invertebrates, including insects, spiders, millipedes, slugs, snails, and worms. It will also eat small lizards and small mammals and will occasionally feed on bird eggs and young birds.
Alligator Lizards are generally secretive, tending to hide in brush or under rocks, although they are often seen foraging out in the open or on roads in the morning and evening. They will often take refuge in crevices, rock fissures, and mammal burrows.

Fun Facts

When basking, the Shasta Alligator Lizard will tuck its back legs under its body to help it blend in more with its environment by looking more like a stick, or possibly to make it look snake-like. These lizards give live birth to between 4-10 individuals.