STATUSLeast Concern


DIETDesert succulents, flowers, fruits, leaves, and occasionally insects

RANGESouthwestern United States and parts of Northern Mexico

HABITATDeserts, rocky areas, and shrublands


Physical Description

Chuckwallas are typically 15 inches long with half of that body length being their tail. Their color will depend on temperature, geographic location, surroundings, and mood. Males are usually larger and may be more rust colored with black limbs, while females may be more gray-yellow in color.


Some predators they may encounter include rattlesnakes, coyotes, kestrels, and red-tailed hawks.


Their average lifespan is 25 years, though some have been known to live up to 65 years.


Breeding occurs from April to July with eggs being laid from June to August. Females will lay 5-16 eggs which will hatch in late September.

Fun Facts

  • When threatened, they will wedge themselves into rock crevices, expand their lungs to increase their body mass, and use their scales to catch on rocks so that predators have a difficult time removing them.
  • Chuckwalla can withstand basking temperatures of up to 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit.

Conservation Messaging

In our Reptile and Amphibian (RAD) center you will find many different reptiles and amphibians including venomous and poisonous species of snakes and frogs. Many of these animals fall victim to habitat loss in the wild. Many of the species here are found in South American habitats which are subjected to deforestation, damming of rivers, water pollution, and poor agricultural and management practices.

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