Pygmy short-horned lizard

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Phrynosoma douglasii – Pygmy short-horned lizard

Key ID features: flat round body with single row of pointed fringe-like scales on each side. Spines or “horns” project from back of head. Toad-like in appearance- called “horned toad”

Habitat: shrub-steppe with well-drained soil that allows burrowing below the surface. Also use lithosols.


  • Cryptic coloration to blend into background mottled dorsal pattern
  • short triangular tail
  • short legs
  • Single row, pointed scales
  • blunt snout
  • Underside white, or yellowish to gray.