These lizards are common throughout Idaho's sagebrush-steppe. They are well-equipped to blend in with their rangeland surroundings; they are gray or tan-colored, and they have lighter gray or tan stripes that run down the middle of their backs. Male sagebrush lizards have two bright blue patches on their stomachs, and females and juveniles usually lack this coloration. Sagebrush lizards are small, they only grow to be about five to six inches including their tails. Their bland coloring allows them to stealthily hide in their sagebrush environment to keep from becoming food for birds, snakes and small mammals.
True to their name, sagebrush lizards live in sagebrush environments, but they have also been found in other desert shrub areas. They typically like to live in higher elevations and have even been found in juniper-pine woodlands. If you visit BLM lands, you may see some of these little reptiles scurrying from sagebrush to sagebrush, looking for food. Because they are reptiles and need the sun to warm themselves, they can sometimes be seen sunning themselves on rocks. If you startle them, they will quickly dart away and run for cover!
Sagebrush lizards scurry from shrub to shrub looking for beetles, flies, ants, caterpillars, aphids, spiders, ticks, and mites. They also eat ants. By looking at what these reptiles eat, it would be nice to have them in your yard or garden eating pesky insects!
These are the most common lizards on the sagebrush steppe environment in Idaho. They also hibernate; you won’t see them scurrying through the snow.