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Scientific name

Heloderma suspectum suspectum


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


Reticulated Gila Monsters are black, with blotched 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.


The Reticulated Gila Monster is also called the Southern subspecies or the Southern Gila Monster. In the United States, the Reticulated Gila Monster is found in western Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. Outside of the United States, it is found in Northwestern Mexico.
Map of US states the Reticulated 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.


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.

Reticulated Gila Monster
Photo © 2007 Eric Marquette

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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