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Banded Gila Monster

Heloderma suspectum cinctum


The Gila monster is a venomous lizard native to the southwestern US and northwestern Mexico.




This one was spotted at the end of a five day backpacking trip in Saguaro NP. The photos were taken with my old Sony DSC-10 (Point and Shoot) before I got my better camera gear. It was fairly calm until I got a little closer, then it puffed its body up and hissed to look big and tough.

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CostaBoyJack 10 years ago

thats a big ol' fella

Chris Carille
Chris Carille 12 years ago

Thanks! I definitely appreciate how lucky I was. In the five days I was there I found two. I believe one to be reticulate and the other banded - so both subspecies! Very lucky!

JennyGoodwin 12 years ago

The Gila Monster is such a rare thing to see in the wild! You were truly lucky to see him as they only venture from their burrows a few days of the year. I've done alot of horse-back riding in desert areas where there are few people, and I've seen only 3 in 10 years. Great photos!

Chris Carille
Chris Carille 12 years ago

Thanks all!

Darwin26 - the other venomous lizard is the Beaded Lizard of Mexico. What scientists are finding though, is that a lot of lizards contain some toxic saliva. Originally, the Gila monster, Beaded Lizard, and Komodo Dragon were thought to be the only venomous/toxic saliva lizards. That list is expanding though as better science comes into play.

surekha 12 years ago

He's beautiful!!! Congrats!

Noe and Pili
Noe and Pili 12 years ago

Congrats! Awesome creature!

Darwin26 12 years ago

what is the other poisonous lizard?

thanks for sharing this beaded monster,

Ashish Nimkar
Ashish Nimkar 12 years ago

Great texture...!!

textless 12 years ago

Great photos!

peter 12 years ago

Spotting of the Day!

"The Gila monster is the only venomous lizard native to the US and one of only two known species of venomous lizards in North America."

Ariana 12 years ago

Wow! Great spotting. I wish that I were at BioBlitz!

Chris Carille
Spotted by
Chris Carille

Tucson, Arizona, USA

Spotted on Apr 19, 2009
Submitted on Aug 19, 2011

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