Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus)
C variegatus habitat near Dome Rock Mtns, Arizona.
C variegatus range (iNaturalist)
Western Banded Gecko
The Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus) is an iconic species of the American Southwest. It is found in suitable habitat in Southern California, Southern Nevada, Southwestern Utah, Western and Southern Arizona, and Southwestern New Mexico.
Banded Geckos are small by lizard standards, but medium in size when compared to geckos as a whole. They are Eublepharids, similar to the better known and much more commonly seen Leopard and Fat-Tail Geckos. Like their more common cousins, Banded Geckos have eyelids and lack adhesive toe pads.
The deserts of the American Southwest may look like a barren wasteland, but there is much more to the landscape. Banded Geckos are typically found under the cover of rocks, logs and other debris, or in the burrows of other animals, such as rodents or tortoises. While the midday sun is beating down on the ground, the geckos are generally found in cool, relatively moist microclimates. As the sun sets and temperatures drop, the geckos can be found looking for food or mates.
Banded Geckos mate in Spring, and females lay several clutches of two eggs through mid to late Summer. Eggs are laid under rocks or logs, where they hatch between 6-12 weeks later. Hatchling Banded Geckos have a strongly contrasting banded pattern, though this breaks up with age, except in the San Diego Banded Gecko (C. variegatus "abbotti").
In 1945, Laurence Klauber described several subspecies of C. variegatus, four of which are in the U.S. Those subspecies have since been nullified, with the possible exception of C. v. "abbotti". However, the variations were consistent and noteworthy enough to warrant differentiation. The variations noted by Klauber are outlined below: