Reptile Life List

This is my list of reptiles I have identified while traveling for Notes from the Road.

Reptiles are a great introduction to identications of wild organisms, because in most cases, there are a finite number of possibilities, and help with identifications is very easy. Lizards, turtles and snakes bring color and mystery to the places you visit. And, often surprising, they bring vivid color and fascinating behavior. I was first caught with the bug to learn more about reptiles after I saw the vivid colors of mating lizards in Death Valley.


My lizard life list comprises 48 species. The lizards (order Squamata) are a diverse group of reptiles characterized by their scaly skin, elongated bodies, and moveable eyelids. Lizards exhibit a wide range of adaptations, from specialized limbs for climbing to unique forms of locomotion such as sidewinding. With an extensive variety of species inhabiting diverse environments worldwide, lizards play crucial roles in ecosystems as insectivores, herbivores, or predators in the reptilian hierarchy. Over 7,000 lizard species have been described by science.

Amazon Forest DragonEnyalioides laticeps

Azure-tailed SkinkEmoia impar

Brown AnoleAnolis sagrei

Brown BasiliskBasiliscus vittatus

Bulky AnoleAnolis Onca

Cape Spiny-tailed IguanaCtenosaura hemilopha

Central American Whiptail LizardHolcosus festivus

Central American Whiptail Lizard

Common ChuckwallaSauromalus ater

Common BasiliskBasiliscus basiliscus

Common Basilisk

Common Side-Blotched LizardUta stansburiana

Common Wall LizardPodarcis muralis

Cope's AmeivaAmeiva bifrontata

Ctenosaur (Black Iguana)Ctenosaura similis

Cuban Twig AnoleAnolis angusticeps

Auber's Ameiva (Cuban Ameiva)Pholidoscelis auberi

Curly-tail LizardLeiocephalus carinatus

Desert Horned LizardPhrynosoma platyrhinos

Desert IguanaDipsosaurus dorsalis

Desert Iguana

Desert Spiny LizardSceloporus magister

Eastern Fence LizardSceloporus undulatus

Five-lined SkinkPlestiodon fasciatus

Striped Forest WhiptailKentropyx calcarata

Gaige's Rainbow LizardCnemidophorus gaigei

Golfo Dulce AnoleAnolis polylepis

Golfo Dulce Anole

Granite Spiny LizardSceloporus orcutti

Great Basin Collared LizardCrotaphytus bicinctores

Great Basin Collared Lizard

Cape Spiny-tailed IguanaCtenosaura hemilopha

Green AnoleAnolis carolinensis

Green IguanaIguana iguana

European Green LizardLacerta viridis

Hispaniolan AnoleAnolis chlorocyanus

Iberian Wall LizardPodarcis hispanicus

Kotschy's GeckoMediodactylus kotschyi

kotschys Gecko

Long-nosed Leopard LizardGambelia wislizenii

Moorish GeckoTarentola mauritanica

Moorish Gecko

Mottled Snake-eyed SkinkCryptoblepharus poecilopleurus

Northern Caiman LizardDracaena guianensis

Northern Caiman Lizard

Plumed BasiliskBasiliscus plumifrons

Rainbow WhiptailCnemidophorus lemniscatus

Roughtail Rock AgamaLaudakia stellio

Roughtail Rock Agama

Sagebrush LizardSceloporus graciosus

Sicilian Wall LizardPodarcis waglerianus

Sicilian Wall Lizard

Solitary AnoleAnolis solitarius

Solitary Anole Sketch (Anolis solitarius)

Striped Basilisk (Brown Basilisk)Basiliscus vittatus

Tropical House GeckoHemidactylus mabouia

Yarrow's Spiny LizardSceloporus jarrovii

Yarrow's Spiny Lizard

Western Fence LizardSceloporus occidentalis

Zebra-tailed LizardCallisaurus draconoides


My snake life list is comprised of the following 17 species. The order Serpentes, comprising snakes, is a diverse group of limbless reptiles known for their elongated bodies and unique adaptations. Snakes have scales covering their skin, providing protection and facilitating movement. With a wide range of species adapted to various habitats, snakes are characterized by their flexibility, specialized feeding mechanisms, and sensory adaptations such as heat-sensitive pits for detecting prey. There are over 3,000 described species of snake in the world.

Aquatic Coral SnakeMicrurus surinamensis

Aquatic GarterThamnophis atratus

Banded Cat-eyed SnakeLeptodeira annulata

Blunt-headed Tree SnakeImantodes cencho

Chonta SnakeChironius grandisquamus

Common MussuranaClelia clelia

Black Halloween Snake (Cope's False Coral Snake) Pliocercus euryzonus

Mud SnakeFarancia abacura

Mud Snake

Northwestern GarterThamnophis ordinoides

Gopher SnakePituophis catenifer

Olive Forest RacerDendrophidion dendrophis

Rubber BoaCharina bottae

Sidewinder RattlesnakeCrotalus cerastes

Speckled KingsnakeLampropeltis holbrooki

Speckled RattlesnakeCrotalus mitchellii

Western Diamondback RattlesnakeCrotalus atrox

Western Terrestrial GarterThamnophis elegans


My turtle life list is comprised of the following 11 species. The order Testudines encompasses turtles, an ancient group of reptiles characterized by their distinctive bony or cartilaginous shell. Turtles are known for their unique body structure, with the shell serving as both armor and a protective home. This order includes both aquatic and terrestrial species, showcasing a diverse range of adaptations to different environments, while their evolutionary lineage extends back over 200 million years. Scientists have described over 350 turtle species in the world.

Alligator Snapping TurtleMacrochelys temminckii

Amazon River TurtleDermatemys mawii

Common Snapping TurtleChelydra serpentina

Green Sea Turtle‎Chelonia Mydas

Loggerhead Sea TurtleCaretta caretta

Painted TurtleChrysemys picta

Eastern RacerColuber constrictor

Pond SliderTrachemys scripta

Smooth Softshell TurtleApalone mutica

Yellow-headed Sideneck TurtlePodocnemis unifilis

Yellow-spotted River Turtle Podocnemis unifilis


My crocodilians life list comprises just three species. The order Crocodylia encompasses a group of semi-aquatic reptiles, known as crocodilians, with a lineage dating back to the Late Cretaceous period. Characterized by their scale-covered bodies, powerful limbs, and conical teeth, crocodilians are well-adapted predators that inhabit a range of aquatic environments, from freshwater swamps and rivers to saltwater estuaries. Exhibiting parental care and cloacal respiration, these ancient creatures play essential roles in their ecosystems and have successfully persisted for millions of years.

American AlligatorAlligator mississippiensis

American Saltwater CrocodileCrocodylus acutus

Spectacled CaimanCaiman crocodilus

Explore more in About Us

A list of all the amphibians I've seen in my life, with illustrations.

A list of all the birds I've seen in my life, with illustrations.

A list of all the butterflies I've identified in my life, with photographs.

A list of all the reptiles I've identfiied in my life, with illustrations.

Write to Erik Gauger of Notes from the Road

A list of all the Odonata insects I've seen in my life, with illustrations.

A list of all the mammals I've seen in my life.

A collection of photographs of spiders and other arachnids I've seen while photographing for Notes from the Road.

My list of extraordinary road-trip approved Grateful Dead jams.

My list of the best Phish jams for traveling and road trips.

My gallery of feral, stray and wild country cats.