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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Cladus: Unidentata Episquamata Toxicofera
Subordo: Iguania
Infraordo: Pleurodonta

Familia: Crotaphytidae
Genus: Gambelia Species: G. copeii - G. sila - G. wislizenii

Gambelia Baird, 1858
Vernacular names

Gambelia is a genus of lizards, commonly known as leopard lizards, within the family Crotaphytidae. Leopard lizards are indigenous to arid environments of southwestern North America.

Species in the genus Gambelia superficially resemble those of the genus Crotaphytus. However, one difference between the genera Gambelia and Crotaphytus is that leopard lizards have fracture planes in their tails, allowing the tails to break off when grasped by predators.[citation needed]


The generic name, Gambelia, is in honor of American naturalist William Gambel.[2]

Three species are recognized.[3]

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Gambelia copei.jpg Gambelia copeii (Yarrow, 1882) Cope's leopard lizard Baja California and adjacent southern California.
LIZARD, BLUNT-NOSED LEOPARD (Gambelia sila) (3-30-08) van metre wash, carrizo plain national monument, slo co, ca -2 (2380352944).jpg Gambelia sila (Stejneger, 1890) blunt-nosed leopard lizard southern California.
LIZARD, LONG-NOSED LEOPARD (gambelia wislizenia) moab, grand co, utah (14790202096).jpg Gambelia wislizenii (Baird & Girard, 1852) long-nosed leopard lizard United States from Oregon to Idaho in the north, south to northern Mexico in Baja California, Sonora, Coahuila, and Zacatecas and Casa Grande, Arizona.

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Gambelia.

"Gambelia ". ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System).
Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Genus Gambelia, p. 97).

"Gambelia ". The Reptile Database.

Further reading
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gambelia.

Baird SF (1859). United States and Mexican Boundary Survey, Under the Order of Lieu. Col. W.H. Emory, Major First Cavalry, and United States Commissioner. [Volume 2, Part 2]. Reptiles of the Boundary, with Notes by the Naturalists of the Survey. Washington, District of Columbia: Department of the Interior. 35 pp. + Plates I-XLI. (Gambelia, new genus, p. 7).
Smith HM, Brodie ED Jr (1982). Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. New York: Golden Press. 240 pp. ISBN 0-307-13666-3. (Genus Gambelia, p. 108).

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