BANDED GILA MONSTER


Scientific name

Heloderma suspectum cinctum

Size

Mature Banded Gila Monsters can reach up to two feet in length, and can weigh up to 3 pounds.

Description

Banded Gila Monsters are black, with double cross band patterns of pink, yellow, or orange. They have a large head, fat body, and a thick tail that usually has several bands around it. Their face and feet are typically colored black.

Distribution

The Banded Gila Monster is also called the Northern subspecies or the Northern Gila Monster. The Banded Gila Monster is only found in western Arizona, southeastern California, southern Nevada, and southwestern Utah.
Map of US states the Banded Gila Monster is found in.
Map does not show area of true distribution, only the states in which there is a population.
Actual distribution in any highlighted state may be limited.

Notes

Gila Monsters do not have fangs like venomous snakes. The teeth in their lower jaw contain two grooves. When the Gila Monster bites, venom from glands in their lower jaw flows up the grooves into the wound. The Gila Monster will chew on its victim to facilitate the flow of venom. The Gila Monster has powerful jaws, a strong bite, and is said to hold on like a bulldog.

Gila Monster Head
Photo used by permission:
© 2000 Adam P. Summers

For more information on the Gila Monster, please visit the sites below.


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