Eastern Collared Lizard

Order:  Squamata (scaled reptiles)
Suborder:  Lacertilia (=Sauria) (lizards)
Family:  Iguanidae (iguanid lizards)
Subfamily:  Crotaphytinae (collared and leopard lizards)
Genus:  Crotaphytus (collared lizards)
Also known as: mountain boomer

Scientific Name:  Crotaphytus collaris collaris (Say, 1823)

Habitat:  A variety of habitats from forest to prairie to desert, provided ample rocky cover is present.

krotaphos="temples/sides of head," phyton="creature,"  collaris="collared"

Length: To 14 inches total.
Food:  Just about anything it can fit in its mouth, including insects, arachnids, other lizards, and small mammals. Collared Lizard Range
Collared lizards have to be one of my favorite lizards.  They are the state reptile of Oklahoma and I grew up observing, catching, and keeping these large, active lizards.  Collared lizards are often called "mountain boomers" in Oklahoma, presumably because the old pioneers on their way to California in the 19th century associated the lizards with unknown noises coming from the hills.  Since collared lizards are usually seen basking on prominent boulders and on rocky hillsides, this was understandable, although we now know they are incapable of making any noise other than hissing when threatened.
Collared lizards are sexually dimorphic, meaning the males look different than the females.  Males are usually much more brightly colored, ranging from dark to light green to a beautiful cobalt blue in some locales.  Females are typically varying shades of brown with red markings during the breeding season.
These lizards are interesting to watch.  Males are territorial.  Their powerful legs come in handy when hopping from rock to rock, and they can even run on their hind legs for short distances, like little dinosaurs.  Collared lizards use burrows or crevices in rocks for hiding, laying eggs, and sleeping.  I have found piles of droppings just outside the burrows--they use the same location as a "toilet" repeatedly rather than just going wherever the mood strikes. Wichita NWR Collared Lizard
This first picture is of a beautiful male just outside the visitors center at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge.  We had to wait a couple of hours for the lizards to leave their burrows for the day's activities--it had been cloudy, rainy, and cool all morning.  The male collared lizards in the Wichita Mountains region (west central Oklahoma west into Texas) exhibit this beautiful cobalt blue, with bright orange heads/throats.  NOTE:  The picture is unretouched!

 The next picture is of another male, but this time the locale is the dam at the Fort Cobb Reservoir.  You can see the variance in coloration at this locale less than 100 miles from the Wichita Mountains.  These males were all green to almost yellow in appearance.  The dam's rocky construction provides a unique setting to study these lizards.  Although it was mid-afternoon in late July and some of the lizards were visibly gaping (sitting with their mouths open to cool off), the males were still perched, bodies held high above the hot rock surfaces, in survey of their territories.  Individual territories appeared to consist of about 100-150 linear feet of dam (the dam was about 50-75 feet from base to top, so each lizard held a territory of 5,000 to 11,250 square feet).

Ft Cobb Collared Lizard
I have a gallery of many more collared lizard pictures at my business website, Mountain Boomer Music.