The Collared lizard is considered a medium sized lizard, eight to fourteen inches long, with two distinct, black collar markings on the neck, the “collar” does not connect at the throat. Coloration is blue-green with faint yellow crossbands and light dots. Males have a blackish-blue stomach and throat. Females are duller and have orange markings on their sides, they have red speckles and bars during breeding season. There are five sub-species with subtle variations (Eastern, Western, Yellow-headed, Chihuahuan, & Sonoran). They are found in south-central United States to California, down into north-central Mexico. These lizards can be found in dry areas such as desert scrubs, grasslands, woodlands, and rugged terrain with rocks.
Collared lizards are often seen basking on large boulders in the mid-morning sun or using the rocks for lookouts. They feed on grasshoppers, beetles, spiders, smaller lizards, and snakes, they will eat plant leaves, flowers, and berries occasionally. Collared lizards are good jumpers and when fleeing, can sprint up to 16 mph on their hind legs, which make them look like tiny dinosaurs. They are wary and excitable with strong jaws, they will bite hard, if they need to. These lizards hibernate during the cold winter months in late fall and winter.