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Reptiles Guide

List of Lacertilia families

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Lacertilia
GŁnther, 1867

This is a list of the extant Lacertilia families. Larcertilia is the suborder of reptiles commonly known as lizards.


There are five infraorders which separate the lizards, these are: Diploglossa, Gekkota, Iguania, Platynota and Scincomorpha. This separation is based mainly on morphological similarities between family groups.

The Diploglossans and Platynotans are two closely related infraorders which are have very diverse families. Very few generalisations can be placed upon these families morphologically. Many species are limbless, while others have fully formed limbs. It is believed that these lizards are the closest lizard relation to the snakes.

The Gekkotans are the second most diverse group of lizards. They can be morphologically distinguished by the absence of temporal arches, which allows greater moveability of the head. Most species also have cloacal sacs and fixed eyelids.

The Iguanians are another diverse group of lizards. All iguanians are fully limbed. Most species ambush their prey, capture it with their tongue and have skin modification, such as crests and fans, used for many different reasons.

The Scincomorphans are the most diverse group of lizards, accounting for almost half the speices of lizards. The major distinguishing morphological feature of the Scincomorphs, is the presence of unsocketed teeth on the inner face of the jaw bones. They also lack the skin modifications present in many of the iguanians. This family contains varying degrees of limb reduction, from completely formed limbs to completely absent of limbs.

As with most taxonomic classifications, there are many different interpretations of the evolutionary relationships. These include moving of familes to different infraorders, merging or splitting of the infraorders and merging and splitting of the families.

Family Common Names Example Species Example Photo
Oppel, 1811
Glass lizards Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis)
Gray, 1852
American legless lizards California Legless Lizard (Anniella pulchra)
Cope, 1866
Knob-scaled lizards Chinese Crocodile Lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus)
Family Common Names Example Species Example Photo
Boulenger, 1884
Blind lizards Dibamus nicobaricum -
Gray, 1825
Geckos Thick-tailed Gecko (Underwoodisaurus milii)
Boulenger, 1884
Legless lizards Burton's Snake Lizard (Lialis burtonis) -
Family Common Names Example Species Example Photo
Spix, 1825
Agamas Eastern Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata)
Gray, 1825
Chameleons Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus)
Frost & Etheridge, 1989
Casquehead lizards Plumed Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons)
Frost & Etheridge, 1989
Collared and leopard lizards Common Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris)
Frost & Etheridge, 1989
Wood lizards or clubtails Club-tail Iguana (Hoplocercus spinosus) -
Iguanidae Iguanas Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus)
Frost et al., 2001
- Darwin's Iguana (Diplolaemus darwinii) -
Frost & Etheridge, 1989
Madagascan iguanas Chalarodon (Chalarodon madagascariensis) -
Frost & Etheridge, 1989
Earless, spiny, tree, side-blotched and horned lizards Greater Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus texanus)
Frost & Etheridge, 1989
Anoles Caronlina Anole (Anolis carolinensis)
Frost & Etheridge, 1989
Neotropical ground lizards (Microlophus peruvianus)
Family Common Names Example Species Example Photo
Helodermatidae Gila monsters Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum)
Lanthanotidae Earless Monitor Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) -
Varanidae Monitors lizards Perentie (Varanus giganteus)
Family Common Names Example Species Example Photo
Cordylidae Spinytail lizards Girdle-tailed Lizard (Cordylus warreni)
Gerrhosauridae Plated lizards Sudan Plated Lizard (Gerrhosaurus major)
Gymnophthalmidae Spectacled lizards - -
Oppel, 1811
Wall or true lizards Eyed Lizard (Lacerta lepida)
Oppel, 1811
Skinks Western Blue-tongued Skink (Tiliqua occipitalis)
Teiidae Tegus or whiptails Blue Tegu (Tupinambis teguixin)
Xantusiidae Night lizards Granite Night Lizard (Xantusia henshawi)


  • Cogger, H.G., R.G. Zweifel, and D. Kirschner (2004). Encyclopedia of Reptiles & Amphibians Second Edition. Fog City Press. ISBN 1-877019-69-0.
  • Tropiduridae. Retrieved on 2006-05-30.

Home | Up | List of Lacertilia families | Agamas | Anguids | Anoles | Blind lizards | Chameleons | Collared lizards | Corytophanids | Geckos | Helodermas | Iguanas | Legless lizards | Leiosaurids | Liolaemids | Monitor lizards | Mosasaurs | Night lizards | Oplurids | Plated lizards | Phrynosomatids | Skinks | Spectacled lizards | Tropidurids | Spinytail lizards | Wall lizards | Whiptail lizards | Wood lizards | Xenosaurids

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