Lizards That Are Native to Illinois


Illinois is home to a number of reptile species including snakes, turtles and seven kinds of lizards. Of the seven species, none are found statewide and most are localized in just a few counties. One of the species is a non-native and is extremely rare in Illinois, if not extinct.

Slender Glass Lizard

  • The slender glass lizard is a legless species that can be mistaken for a snake. The presence of eyelids and ear holes on the side of its head indicates it is a lizard. Slender glass lizards, which can be as long as 35 inches, are rare in Illinois, having been officially recorded in just six counties since 1980.

Eastern Collared Lizard

  • The Eastern collared lizard was introduced into Illinois. Its natural range is southern California, Texas, New Mexico and northern Mexico. This slender reptile, which is typically no more than 13 inches long, has a green body and a black and white collar. The Eastern collared lizard is primarily found only in Johnson County in southern Illinois.

Eastern Fence Lizard

  • The Eastern fence lizard, which is native to the southern third of the state, is only about 7 inches long. The lizard is gray to brown with darker bands across its back. It also distinguished by a small bluish patch on its throat.

Common Five-Lined Skink

  • The common five-lined skink, which is native to the southern third of Illinois, is a medium-size lizard that grows to just under 8 inches long. It has a dark brown to black body broken up by light, colored lines that run the length of its body. The species also has a blue tail.

Broad-Headed Skink

  • The broad-headed skink, common to the southern half of the state, grows to just under 10 inches. The lizard has olive green to brown coloration with the males having red coloring on the back of their heads.

Ground Skink

  • The ground skink, most common in the extreme southern counties of Illinois, grows to 5 inches in length. It has a slender body and copper to chocolate brown skin with darker colored stripes along its sides.

Six-Lined Racerunner

  • The six-lined racerunner is found in small populations in the northern and southern parts of the state. Growing to just under 8 inches, it has a slender olive to dark brown body with six light-colored stripes running along its length.

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