Ornate Tree Lizard

Ornate Tree Lizards (Urosaurus ornatus) are small lizards often found crawling around on trees or rocks here in Arizona.

Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)

These little lizards are common here in Tucson, but they are difficult to photograph because not only are they very wary, their mottled, brownish gray coloration makes them rather difficult to see on rough tree bark, especially amongst the tree branches. When you get close to them, they will quickly run and hide, usually on the other side of the tree trunk or boulder.

An Ornate Tree Lizard can be recognized by the pattern of gray to black bars on its back. This lizard also has a thin, wavy, dark line that runs from eye to eye across the top of its head. Below this line toward the nose, there is also a thin, dark, V-shaped marking. The males each have two bright blue belly patches and an orange throat marked with variable amounts of blue.