VENOMOUS LIZARDS OF THE UNITED STATES
Let me start by saying that I am not a herpetologist. This page is designed to list the venomous lizards of the United States, but should in no way be considered an authoritative list. This page was compiled from information in the public domain, and has not been reviewed by a herpetologist.
There is only one species of venomous lizard that is native to the United States, which is the species Heloderma suspectum, commonly referred to as the Gila Monster. There are two subspecies that exist:
- Banded Gila Monster - Heloderma suspectum cinctum
- Reticulated Gila Monster - Heloderma suspectum suspectum
The Gila Monster is a protected species. It is named after the Gila Basin in Arizona. There are many myths about the Gila Monster, but there are just as many interesting and unique facts about them as well.
- The Gila Monster is immortal
- The breath of the Gila Monster is toxic
- The Gila Monster can leap several feet into the air
- If bitten by a Gila Monster, it will not let go until the sun sets or until it hears thunder
- The Gila Monster has no anus, and it's digestive waste is secreted via it's mouth, which is what makes the Gila Monster venomous
- The Gila Monster is the only lizard with a forked tongue.
- The Gila Monster is the United State's only species of venomous lizard, and is one of only two species of venomous lizards in the world.
- The Gila Monster is the slowest lizard in the United States, although it can strike quickly.
- The Gila Monster is the largest lizard native to the United States.
- The Gila Monster does not inject venom with fangs like a snake.
For more information on the Gila Monster, please visit the sites below.
- Dr. Mark Seward's Gila Monster Web Site. An excellent resource of information on the Gila Monster.