dunes sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus)

Federal Register | Recovery | Critical Habitat | Conservation Plans | Petitions | Life History

Listing Status:   

General Information

The dunes sagebrush lizard is a small, light brown phrynosomatid lizard (family Phrynosomatidae, genus Sceloporus) with a maximum snout-to-vent length of 70 millimeters (mm) (2.8 inches (in)) for females and 65 mm (2.6 in) for males (Degenhardt et al. 1996, p. 160). Sabath (1960, p. 22) first described the occurrence of light-colored sagebrush lizards in southeastern New Mexico and western Texas. Kirkland L. Jones collected the type specimen for Sceloporus arenicolus on April 27, 1968, in eastern Chaves County, New Mexico (Degenhardt et al. 1996, p. 159). Degenhardt and Jones (1972, p. 213) described the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus arenicolus) as a subspecies of the sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus). The dunes sagebrush lizard was elevated to a species in 1992 and this elevation was validated with molecular and morphological evidence in 1997 (Painter et al. 1999, p. 3). Much of the previous literature concerning Sceloporus arenicolus refers to it by the common name of sand dune lizard (e.g., Degenhardt et al. 1996, p. 159); however, the currently accepted common name is dunes sagebrush lizard (Crother et al. 2008, p. 39).

  • States/US Territories in which the dunes sagebrush Lizard, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur:  New Mexico , Texas
  • US Counties in which the dunes sagebrush Lizard, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur:  View All
 
Current Listing Status Summary
Status Date Listed Lead Region Where Listed
Southwest Region (Region 2) Wherever found

» Federal Register Documents

Federal Register Documents
Date Citation Page Title
1985-09-18 00:00:00.0 50 FR 37958 37967 Review of Vertebrate Wildlife; Notice of Review; 50 FR 37958-37967
2012-02-24 00:00:00.0 77 FR 11061 11062 Proposed Endangered Status for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard: notice of availability and reopening of comment period.
1991-11-21 00:00:00.0 56 FR 58804 58836 ETWP; Animal Candidate Review for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species; 56 FR 58804 58836
2001-10-30 00:00:00.0 66 FR 54808 54832 ETWP; Review of Plant and Animal Species That Are Candidates or Proposed for Listing as Endangered or Threatened,Annual Notice of Findings on Recycled Petitions, and Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions; Proposed Rule
2005-05-11 00:00:00.0 70 FR 24870 24934 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Native Species That Are Candidates or Proposed for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions; Proposed Rule
1989-01-06 00:00:00.0 54 FR 554 579 ETWP; Animal Notice of Review; 54 FR 554 579
2008-12-10 00:00:00.0 73 FR 75176 75244 Review of Native Species That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions; Proposed Rule
1994-11-15 00:00:00.0 59 FR 58982 59028 ETWP; Animal Candidate Review for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species.
2010-12-14 00:00:00.0 75 FR 77801 77817 Endangered Status for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard
2004-12-27 00:00:00.0 69 FR 77167 77173 12-Month Findings on Resubmitted Petitions To List the Southern Idaho Ground Squirrel, Sand Dune Lizard, and Tahoe Yellow Cress
2009-11-09 00:00:00.0 74 FR 57804 57878 Review of Native Species That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions
2002-06-13 00:00:00.0 67 FR 40657 40679 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Species That Are Candidates or Proposed for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Recycled Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions
2011-04-07 00:00:00.0 76 FR 19304 19305 Endangered Status for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period and announcement of public hearings.
2010-11-10 00:00:00.0 75 FR 69222 69294 Review of Native Species That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions; Proposed Rule
2011-12-05 00:00:00.0 76 FR 75858 75859 6-Month Extension of Final Determination for the Proposed Listing of the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard as Endangered:reopening of comment period.
2007-12-06 00:00:00.0 72 FR 69034 69106 Review of Native Species That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions; Proposed Rule
2012-06-19 00:00:00.0 77 FR 36871 36899 Withdrawal of the Proposed Rule To List Dunes Sagebrush Lizard
1982-12-30 00:00:00.0 47 FR 58454 58460 Review of Vertebrate Wildlife for Listing as End. or Thr. Species
2004-05-04 00:00:00.0 69 FR 24876 24904 Review of Species That Are Candidates or Proposed for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions
2006-09-12 00:00:00.0 71 FR 53756 53835 Review of Native Species That Are Candidates or Proposed for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions

» Recovery

No recovery information is available for the dunes sagebrush Lizard.

» Critical Habitat

No critical habitat rules have been published for the dunes sagebrush Lizard.

» Conservation Plans

Candidate Conservation Agreements (CCA): (learn more)
CCA Plan Summaries
Lesser Prairie Chicken and Dunes Sagebrush Lizard in NM
Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAA): (learn more)
CCAA Plan Summaries
Lesser Prairie Chicken and Dunes Sagebrush Lizard in New Mexico

» Petitions

» Life History

Habitat Requirements

The dunes sagebrush lizard is considered to be a habitat specialist because it has adapted to thrive only in a narrow range of environmental conditions that exist within shinnery oak dunes. Its survival is directly linked to the quality and quantity of available shinnery oak dune habitat (Fitzgerald et al. 1997, p. 8). Shinnery oak dune habitat is dependent upon the existence of shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) in areas of appropriate sediment availability. The landscape created by the shinnery oak dune community is a spatially dynamic system. Shinnery oak and sand dunes form large dune complexes that are separated by flat areas without dunes called shinnery oak flats. It would be feasible to find dunes sagebrush lizards in shinnery oak flats that are adjacent to occupied dunes. Suitable habitat is separated by a mosaic of habitat types within or near the range of dunes sagebrush lizard. Landforms separating habitat may include mesquite hummocks, grasslands, and tabosa flats that are lacking shinnery oak and dominated by tabosa grass (Hilaria mutica) and scattered mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa).

Food Habits

The large, steep blowouts provide habitat for thermoregulation, foraging, predator avoidance, and the dunes sagebrush lizardís prey base. The diet of the dunes sagebrush lizard includes ants (Order Hymenoptera, Family Formicidae) and their pupae; small beetles (Order Coleoptera), including lady bird beetles (Family Coccinellidae) and their larvae; crickets (Order Orthoptera); grasshoppers (Order Orthoptera); and spiders (Order Araneae) (Degenhardt et al. 1996, p. 160).

Movement / Home Range

The shinnery oak flats are used for movement of females to find nesting sites and for possible dispersal of recent hatchlings (Hill and Fitzgerald 2007, p. 5). Females often utilize more than one dune during the nesting season and have home range sizes of about 436 square meters (m2) (4,693 square feet (ft2)). The largest recorded home range is 2,799.7 m2 (9,185.4 ft2), which includes the movement of the tracked female from her primary home range to her nesting site (Hill and Fitzgerald 2007, p. 5). Females build nest chambers and lay eggs in the moist soil below the surface. Nests have been observed on west-facing, open sand slopes with little to no vegetation, approximately 18 centimeters (7.1 in) below the sand surface (Hill and Fitzgerald 2007, p. 5).

Reproductive Strategy

Dunes sagebrush lizards are active between March and October and are dormant underground during the colder winter months. Mating has been observed in April and May (Sena 1985, p. 17). Females produce one to two clutches per year, with three to five eggs per clutch. Hatchlings appear between July and September (Hill and Fitzgerald 2007, p. 2; Sena 1985, p. 6).

» Other Resources

NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.

ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.

FWS Digital Media Library -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library is a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video.