Greater Short-horned Lizard

Greater Short-horned Lizard

Other Names: Mountain Short-horned Lizard, “Horn Toads”

Scientific Name: Phrynosoma hernandesi (Formerly:  Phrynosoma douglassii)

Family: Phrynosomatidae

Description & Size

  • Rough scales
  • Spikes (modified scales) on the head and body
  • Short fore and hind limbs
  • Short tail
  • Flat and round body shape
  • Total length:  7.6-12.5 cm (3.0-4.9 inches)
  • Light stripe from the head to tail in the middle of the back
  • Large and small blotches on the back
  • Base color:  Grey or brown


  • Short grass prairies with loose, sandy soils
  • Rocky, rough terrain.


  • Ants primarily
  • Other small invertebrates

Life History

  • Diurnal
  • Active season:  April – September
  • Breeding season:  April – May (Howard, 1974)
  • Gives live birth
  • 5-48 young per female


Greater Short-horned Lizard Range