They are found in the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts in southwestern Utah, southern Nevada, southeastern California, western Arizona and southwestern New Mexico into Mexico.
They live in desert and dry areas with gravel and sandy soils and bushy brush. They often hide under rocks and in burrows or holes.
The gila monster is a stout lizard that grows up to 2 feet long. It has a black face, feet and stripes across its body with pinkish orange to yellow stripes, spots and blotches down its body too. Its skin is bumpy. It has a poisonous bite that will make its prey sleepy and sluggish. It is usually not strong enough to kill a person.
They are active at night (nocturnal).
They eat small birds, rodents, eggs, and other lizards. In the winter, they live off the fat stored in the tail.
They have few predators except man.
They mate all summer. The female lays 3 - 5 eggs in sandy soils, burrows or under rocks in the fall or winter.
Species: H. suspectum
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Amsel, Sheri. "Gila Monster" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2023. October 2, 2023
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