Uta stansburiana - Baird and Girard, 1852
Common Side-blotched Lizard
Other English Common Names: Side-blotched Lizard, common side-blotched lizard
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Uta stansburiana Baird and Girard, 1852 (TSN 173956)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.106390
Element Code: ARACF17010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Reptiles - Lizards
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Reptilia Squamata Phrynosomatidae Uta
Genus Size: A - Monotypic genus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Collins, J. T. 1990. Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians and reptiles. 3rd ed. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Herpetological Circular No. 19. 41 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B90COL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Uta stansburiana
Taxonomic Comments: See Upton and Murphy (1997) for a phylogeny of Uta based on mtDNA sequences. These data suggest that U. stansburiana from the islands of Angel de la Guarda, Mejia, and Raza should be recognized as a distinct species. However, Grismer (2002) retained these populations in U. stansburiana.

Subspecies stejnegeri (southeastern Arizona to western Texas and southward into north-central Mexico) was proposed as a distinct species by Collins (1991), but Collins did not present supporting data. Stebbins (2003) did not recognize any subspecies.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 25Aug2005
Global Status Last Changed: 16Jan2001
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Oct1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Arizona (S5), California (SNR), Colorado (S4), Idaho (S5), Navajo Nation (S5), Nevada (S5), New Mexico (S5), Oklahoma (S1), Oregon (S5), Texas (S5), Utah (S5), Washington (S3)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: The geographic range extends from central and northeastern California, central and eastern Oregon, central Washington, southwestern Idaho, Utah, and western Colorado southward to the tip of Baja California, northern Sinaloa, and northern Zacatecas, Mexico, including many islands along the Pacific coast of Baja California and in the Gulf of California (Grismer 2002, Stebbins 2003). Elevational range extends from below sea level in desert sinks to about 2,750 meters (9,000 feet) (Stebbins 2003).

DNA data suggest long-established residency on Santa Catalina and San Clemente islands but more recent arrival for the populations on San Nicolas and Santa Cruz Islands, California (Mahoney et al. 2003).

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This lizard is represented by a very large number of occurrences or subpopulations.

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but surely exceeds 1,000,000. Where it is most common, the side-blotched lizard often is the most abundant reptile in its habitat. Population density commonly reaches hundreds per acre.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: No major threats have been identified.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size are large and relatively stable.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Not intrinsically vulnerable

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) The geographic range extends from central and northeastern California, central and eastern Oregon, central Washington, southwestern Idaho, Utah, and western Colorado southward to the tip of Baja California, northern Sinaloa, and northern Zacatecas, Mexico, including many islands along the Pacific coast of Baja California and in the Gulf of California (Grismer 2002, Stebbins 2003). Elevational range extends from below sea level in desert sinks to about 2,750 meters (9,000 feet) (Stebbins 2003).

DNA data suggest long-established residency on Santa Catalina and San Clemente islands but more recent arrival for the populations on San Nicolas and Santa Cruz Islands, California (Mahoney et al. 2003).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZ, CA, CO, ID, NM, NN, NV, OK, OR, TX, UT, WA

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2005


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Ada (16001), Canyon (16027), Elmore (16039), Gooding (16047), Jerome (16053)*, Lemhi (16059), Owyhee (16073), Twin Falls (16083)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Salmon Falls (17040213)+*, C. J. Idaho (17050101)+, Bruneau (17050102)+, Middle Snake-Succor (17050103)+, Upper Owyhee (17050104)+*, East Little Owyhee. Nevada, (17050106)+*, Lower Boise (17050114)+*, Middle Salmon-Panther (17060203)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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General Description: Side-blotched lizards are variable in color and pattern, being spotted, blotched, or unpatterned, depending on location. The scales along the middle of the back are of uniform size. Each side of chest has a dark blotch (a large blue-black streak is present in some males). The throat of adults is blue, with an orange rim in some regions (colors less intense in late summer). At least one scale on top of the head behind the eyes is obviously larger than the scales along the middle of the back. Maximum snout-vent length is about 2.5 inches (6.3 cm); average size of adults increases from north to south across the range. Mature males have two hemipenial swellings on the underside of the tail base and a pair of enlarged scales behind the vent on the underside of the tail. Source: Hammerson (1999).
Reproduction Comments: In most of the range, courtship and mating occur in spring as lizards emerge from hibernation. Reproductive females produce 1-3 clutches of 1-5 eggs in the northern part of the range, 2-7 clutches of 1-8 eggs in the south. Egg laying begins as early as March in the south, by mid-April in Colorado, and extends through July or August in many areas. Females bury eggs in sandy soil. Eggs hatch in late July and August in Colorado, as early as late June in Texas, Nevada, and Idaho. Individuals become sexually mature in 1-2 years (Nussbaum et al. 1983, Hammerson 1999).
Ecology Comments: In Colorado, Tinkle (1967) and Tinkle and Woodward (1967) found that home range size is no more than a few hundred square meters, but individuals, especially males, sometimes make long-distance movements of up to a few hundred meters. Distance from the hatching site to the center of the home range was about 6 m in one female and 20-42 m (average 33 m) in four males.

Home range size in western Colorado averaged about 440-610 m2 in males and about 190-225 m2 in females (Tinkle 1967, Waldschmidt 1979, Christian and Waldschmidt 1984) Population density in Colorado was estimated at 25-44 adults/ha (see Hammerson 1982). Density ranged from 11 to 285 individuals/ha in 7 sites in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington (mean 60/ha and 78/ha in two consecutive years) (Wilson 1991). May aggregate during hibernation in some areas.

Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Desert, Grassland/herbaceous, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Conifer
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Habitats include a wide variety of arid and semiarid situations with scattered bushes and/or scrubby trees; soil may be sandy, gravelly, or rocky; the species is often found in sandy washes with scattered rocks and bushes (Stebbins 2003). Eggs are buried in sandy soil (Nussbaum et al. 1983).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats insects, spiders, scorpions, mites, ticks, and sowbugs (Stebbins 1985). Diet usually includes many Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Orthoptera, and Aranae. Adult males sometimes are cannibalistic on young.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Activity occurs during daylight hours, mostly March to November in the north, all year in the south.
Length: 16 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Phrynosomatid Lizards

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy highway or highway with obstructions such that lizards rarely if ever cross successfully; major river, lake, pond, or deep marsh; urbanized area dominated by buildings and pavement.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Phrynosomatid lizards have small home range sizes, usually less than 0.5 ha (often much less) and rarely more than 1 ha (see examples in BCD EO Specs). In a study that documented exceptionally large home range size for a phrynosomatid, Munger (1984a) found that single-season home range size of Phrynosoma cornutum in southern Arizona averaged less than 2.5 ha. Dispersal distances are poorly known, and most studies have not been designed to detect long distance movements. The separation distance for suitable habitat is a compromise between the typical sedentary habits of these lizards, their physical ability to cover fairly large distances in a short period of time, their tendency to occur throughout patches of suitable habitat, and the likely low probability that two occupied locations separated by less than several kilometers of suitable habitat would represent independent populations.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .2 km
Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 28Jan2010
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 28Jan2010
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979. The Audubon Society field guide to North American reptiles and amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 719 pp.

  • Christian, K. A., and S. Waldschmidt. 1984. The relationship between lizard home range and body size: a reanalysis of the data. Herpetologica 40:68-85.

  • Collins, J. T. 1990. Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians and reptiles. 3rd ed. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Herpetological Circular No. 19. 41 pp.

  • Collins, J. T. 1991. Viewpoint: a new taxonomic arrangement for some North American amphibians and reptiles. SSAR Herpetol. Review 22:42-43.

  • Conant, R., and J. T. Collins. 1998. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians: eastern and central North America. Third edition, expanded. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Massachusetts. 616 pp.

  • Crother, B. I. (editor). 2008. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Sixth edition. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Herpetological Circular 37:1-84. Online with updates at: http://www.ssarherps.org/pages/comm_names/Index.php

  • Crother, B. I. (editor). 2012. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. 7th edition. SSAR Herpetological Circular 39:1-92.

  • Dowling, H. G. 1993. Viewpoint: a reply to Collins (1991, 1992). Herpetol. Rev. 24:11-13.

  • Fitch, H. S. 1970. Reproductive cycles of lizards and snakes. Univ. Kansas Museum Natural History Miscellaneous Publication 52:1-247.

  • Hammerson, G. A. 1982b. Amphibians and reptiles in Colorado. Colorado Division of Wildlife, Denver. vii + 131 pp.

  • Mahoney, M. J., D.S.M. Parks, and G. M. Fellers. 2003. Uta stansburiana and Elgaria multicarinata on the California Channel Islands: natural dispersal or artificial introduction? Journal of Herpetology 37:586-591.

  • Nussbaum, R.A. and L.V. Diller. 1976. The life history of the side-blotched lizard, Uta stansburiana Baird and Girard,in north-central Oregon. Northwest Science 50(4):243-260.

  • Nussbaum, R.A., E.D. Brodie, Jr., and R.M. Storm. 1983. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Pacific Northwest. University Press of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho. 332 pp.

  • Parker, W.S. and E.R. Pianka. 1975. Comparative ecology of populations of the lizard Uta stansburiana. Copeia 1975 (4):615-632.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985a. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. xiv + 336 pp.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 2003. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Third edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.

  • Tinkle, D. W., and D. W. Woodward. 1967. Relative movements of lizards in natural populations as determined from recapture radii. Ecology 48:166-168.

  • Tinkle, D.W. 1967. The life and demography of the side- blotched lizard, Uta stansburiana. Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan 132:1-182.

  • Upton, D. E., and R. W. Murphy. 1997. Phylogeny of the side-blotched lizards (Phrynosomatidae: UTA) based on myDNA sequences: support for a midpeninsular seaway in Baja California. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 8:104-113.

  • Waldschmidt, S. R. 1979. The effect of statistically based models on home range size estimate in Uta stansburiana. American Midland Naturalist 101:236-240

  • Waldschmidt, S., and C. R. Tracy. 1983. Interactions between a lizard and its thermal environment: implications for sprint performance and space utilization in the lizard Uta stansburiana. Ecology 64:476-484.

  • Wilson, B. S. 1991b. Latitudinal variation in activity season mortality rates of the lizard UTA STANSBURIANA. Ecolog. Monogr. 61:393-414.

  • de Queiroz, K. and T. W. Reeder. 2008. Squamata: Lizard. IN B. I. Crother (ed.), Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, 24-45 SSAR Herpetological Circular 37.

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