Phrynosoma douglasii - (Bell, 1828)
Pygmy Horned Lizard
Other English Common Names: Northwestern Short-horned Lizard, Pygmy Short-horned Lizard, pygmy horned lizard
Synonym(s): Phrynosoma douglasi
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Phrynosoma douglasii (Bell, 1829) (TSN 564567)
French Common Names: iguane pygmée à petites cornes
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102494
Element Code: ARACF12030
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Reptiles - Lizards
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Reptilia Squamata Phrynosomatidae Phrynosoma
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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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: Phrynosoma douglasii
Taxonomic Comments: Zamudio et al. (1997) examined mtDNA variation in short-horned lizards throughout western North America and concluded that the Pacific Northwest segment of the population should be recognized as a species (P. douglasii) distinct from the species (P. hernandesi) represented in the remainder of the range. In addition, there was no support for the recognition of any of the nominal subspecies; thus each species is best regarded as monotypic. See Hammerson and Smith (1991) for information on the correct spelling of the specific name (formerly douglassii). The specific name is here spelled with a double-i ending, since that is how it was rendered in the original description. The common name used here follows Sherbrooke (2003).


Reeder and Montanucci (2001) examined phylogenetic relationships of horned lizards (Phrynosoma) based on mtDNA and morphology.

Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Sep2005
Global Status Last Changed: 28Oct1997
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (28Oct1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: NX (02Aug2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (SNR), Idaho (S4), Nevada (SNR), Oregon (S4), Washington (S3)
Canada British Columbia (SX)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: XT (05Jun2003)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Extirpated (01Nov2018)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for Designation: In Canada, this species is known only from historical records. Since the last assessment, more anecdotal observations have come to light, but there have been no confirmed records for over 50 years. The historical records are from a populated area in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, where new sightings would be expected if the species still existed in Canada.

Status History: Last reported in 1957. Designated Extirpated in April 1992. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2000, April 2007, and November 2018.

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: Southern British Columbia (apparently extirpated; Powell and Russell 1998) south to northeastern California, northern Nevada, and southern Idaho (Zamudio et al. 1997, Stebbins 2003); eastern and southern range limits have not been precisely determined; old record from extreme southwestern Montana, where current status is unknown (St. John 2002, Werner et al. 2004). Elevational range extends from around 300 to 1,830 meters (1,000-6,000 feet) (Stebbins 2003).

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by many occurrences scatttered throughout its historical range.

Population Size: 10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but surely exceeds 10,000.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many (41-125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: The number of occurrences with good viability is unknown, but probably there are many.

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, and population size appear to be relatively stable.

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

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately 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)) Southern British Columbia (apparently extirpated; Powell and Russell 1998) south to northeastern California, northern Nevada, and southern Idaho (Zamudio et al. 1997, Stebbins 2003); eastern and southern range limits have not been precisely determined; old record from extreme southwestern Montana, where current status is unknown (St. John 2002, Werner et al. 2004). Elevational range extends from around 300 to 1,830 meters (1,000-6,000 feet) (Stebbins 2003).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA, ID, NV, OR, WA
Canada BCextirpated

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)
OR Crook (41013)
WA Adams (53001), Benton (53005), Chelan (53007), Douglas (53017), Franklin (53021), Grant (53025), Kittitas (53037), Lincoln (53043), Okanogan (53047), Walla Walla (53071), Yakima (53077)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 Chief Joseph (17020005)+, Okanogan (17020006)+, Methow (17020008)+, Upper Columbia-Entiat (17020010)+, Moses Coulee (17020012)+, Upper Crab (17020013)+, Lower Crab (17020015)+, Upper Columbia-Priest Rapids (17020016)+, Upper Yakima (17030001)+, Naches (17030002)+, Lower Yakima, Washington (17030003)+, Lower Snake (17060110)+, Walla Walla (17070102)+, Beaver-South Fork (17070303)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Gives birth to 3-15 young, mainly August to mid-September (Brown et al. 1995). Sexually mature in 2 or more years (Nussbaum et al. 1983).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Desert, Grassland/herbaceous, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: This lizard ranges from semiarid plains to high mountains: sagebrush, bunchgrass, pinyon-juniper woodland, openly spaced pines (Stebbins 2003). Usually it occurs in open, shrubby, or openly wooded areas with sparse vegetation at ground level. Soil may vary from rocky to sandy. When not active on the surface, the lizards burrow into the soil or occupy rodent burrows.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Diet consists primarily of ants and other insects.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Inactive during cold weather; also avoids extreme heat.
Length: 15 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: 08Jul2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 08Jul2005
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
  • B.C. Ministry of Environment. Recovery Planning in BC. B.C. Minist. Environ. Victoria, BC.

  • Brown, H. A., R. B. Bury, D. M. Darda, L. V. Diller, C. R. Peterson, and R. M. Storm. 1995. Reptiles of Washington and Oregon. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Washington. viii + 176 pp.

  • COSEWIC. 2007. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Pygmy Short-horned Lizard Phrynosoma douglasii in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa.
    vi + 24 pp. (www.sararegistry.gc.ca/status/status_e.cfm).

  • 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.

  • Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). 2018. COSEWIC Assessment Results, November 2018. Online. Available: http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/.

  • 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.

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada. 2017y. Recovery Strategy for the Pygmy Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma douglasii) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ottawa. vi + 14 pp.

  • Fannin, J. 1898. A preliminary catalogue of the collections on natural history and ethnology in the Provincial Museum, Victoria, British Columbia. British Columbia Provincial Museum, Victoria, BC. 196pp.

  • Gregory, L.A., and P.T. Gregory. 1999. The Reptiles of British Columbia, A taxonomic catalogue. B.C. Minist. Environ., Lands and Parks, Victoria. Wildl. Bull. B-88. 28pp.

  • Gregory, P.T., and R.W. Campbell. 1984. The Reptiles of British Columbia. Royal B.C. Mus. Handb. 102pp.

  • Hammerson, G. A., and H. M. Smith. 1991. The correct spelling of the name of the short-horned lizard of North America. Bull. Maryland Herp. Soc. 27(3):121-127.

  • 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.

  • Pianka, E. R., and W. S. Parker. 1975. Ecology of horned lizards: a review with special reference to PHRYNOSOMA PLATYRHINOS. Copeia 1975(1):141-162.

  • Powell, G. L., and A. P. Russell. 1998. The status of short-horned lizards, PHRYNOSOMA DOUGLASI and P. HERNANDEZI, in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 112:1-16.

  • Powell, G.L. and A.P. Russel. 1998. The status of Short-horned Lizards, Phrynosoma douglasi and P. hernandezi, in Canada. Can. Field-Nat. 112(1):1-16.

  • Powell, G.L., and A.P. Russell. 1992. Status report on the Short-horned Lizard, Phrynosoma douglassi, in Canada. Unpubl. rep. submitted to the Comm. on the Status of Endangered Wildl. in Can., Ottawa, ON.

  • Reeder, T. W., and R. R. Montanucci. 2001. Phylogenetic analysis of the horned lizards (Phrynosomatidae: PHRYNOSOMA): evidence from mitochondrial DNA and morphology. Copeia 2001:309-323.

  • Ryder, G. R., R. Wayne Campbell and G. Lawrence Powell. 2006. A noteworthy record of the pigmy short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglasii) for British Columbia. Wildlife Afield. 3(1):11-14.

  • Sherbrooke, W. C. 2003. Introduction to horned lizards of North America. University of California Press, Berkeley.

  • St. John, A. 2002. Reptiles of the northwest. Lone Pine Publishing, Renton, Washington. 272 pp.

  • 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.

  • The Reptiles of British Columbia: Pigmy Short-horned Lizard, Phrynosoma douglasi douglasi. 2004. Univ. Coll. of the Cariboo, and B.C. Minist. Water, Land and Air Prot. Online. Available: http://www.bcreptiles.ca/lizards/pigmyshorthorn.htm

  • Werner, J. K., B. A. Maxell, P. Hendricks, and D. L. Flath. 2004. Amphibians and reptiles of Montana. Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula, Montana. xii + 262 pp.

  • Zamudio, K. R., K. B. Jones, and R. H. Ward. 1997. Molecular systematics of short-horned lizards: biogeography and taxonomy of a widespread species complex. Systematic Biology 46:284-305.

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