Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Sierra Fence Lizard

Sceloporus occidentalis tailoryi


Western fence lizards measure a total length of about 21 cm. They are brown to black in color (the brown may be sandy or greenish) and have black stripes on their backs, but their most distinguishing characteristic is their bright blue bellies. The ventral sides of the limbs are yellow.These lizards also have blue patches on their throats. This bright coloration is faint or absent in both females and juveniles. The scales of S. occidentalis are sharply keeled. They do push-ups as intimidating display.


Rocks in Olmsted Point, Tioga Rd., CA. South of Lake Tahoe.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


The MnMs
The MnMs 6 years ago

Many thanks Ashley, Jellis, Daniel for the ID. I will add Sceloporus occidentalis as species ;-)

Jellis 6 years ago

I'm leaning like AshleyT more on the Sierra Fence Lizard - Sceloporus occidentalis taylori due to the longer spiny scales.

Jellis 6 years ago

What I do when it becomes a tight decision like that is I contact the guys at CaliforniaHerps. They know their stuff and most likely get back to you with an answer. You will have to give the best description and photos.

daniel.dparsons 6 years ago

it's a western fence lizard or blue belly

AshleyT 6 years ago

Yep! Sceloporus occidentalis. You're right on the edge of two subspecies, so I would just go off of range to tell them apart. Hopefully you know where you were in relation to the counties on these maps?

The MnMs
Spotted by
The MnMs

California, USA

Spotted on Sep 18, 2014
Submitted on Dec 24, 2014

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors

Join the Project Noah Team Join Project Noah Team