Prairie Earless Lizard

Greater earless lizard

The Greater Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus texanus) is a species of earless lizard found in the southern United States, in the states of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, and in Mexico in the states of Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, and San Luis Potosi. While C. texanus is the only species within its genus, it does have two subspecies. It is called "greater" because it grows larger than the earless lizards of the genus Holbrookia, to which they are closely related.


Greater earless lizards grow from 3-7 inches in length. They are characterized by the lack of external ear openings, which is presumably to prevent sand from entering their body while they dig. They are normally an overall tan or grey color, reflecting the color of the sand and rocks in their native habitat for camouflage, with black, brown or white spotting. Males often develop bright blue and green colorations, while females tend to be duller in color, except when gravid when they turn a bright orange color. Many have a distinctive pair of curved black bars just before the hind legs.


All earless lizards are diurnal, basking lizards. In the early morning they forage for insects, and then spend several hours basking in the sun, until it becomes too hot, around 104 °F at the surface, when they retreat to a burrow or rock crevice. They are oviparous.



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