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Southern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat

Southern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata)


  • Southern alligator lizards occur from Washington to northern Baja California, west of the Cascade-Sierra Nevada crest, including
    • Islands off southern California and northern Baja California
    • Isolated populations east of the Sierra Nevada mountains
  • Northern alligator lizards overlap much of the U.S. range of the southern species
  • Found at sea level to 2,286 m (7,500 ft)
  • Countries: United States and Mexico
  • Link to IUCN map



  • Occupies coastal sage, chaparral, grasslands, oak woodlands, pinon-juniper woodlands, some pine woodlands, and forests.
  • In dry zones will be found in more abundant plant cover near water
  • Near human habitation, found under wood piles, rocks, debris
  • Most abundant in natural areas in denser ground cover where there are few open spaces (Kingsbury 1994)

Distribution Map

Southern Alligator Lizard distribution map

Unique to North America.

Adapted from according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN).

Page Citations

Hammerson & Hollingsworth (IUCN 2008)
Stebbins (2003)

SDZG Library Links