Squamates | Squamata

Squamata is a broad collective order of scaled reptiles. Squamates fall under class reptilia and are commonly distinguished by their skins. They are characterized by horny scales or shields on their skins, body elongation which is a popular modification in squamate’s body plan, having movable quadrate bones with most being carnivores while others omnivores. These animals include snakes, lizards, and amphisbaenian. Squamates are terrestrial or arboreal, with very few being aquatic. They may also have no/reduced limbs while some have four limbs. Squamates can either live in groups or in solitary.

What characteristics make a Squamata?

The characteristics that make a Squamata unique include having a scaled skin that distinguishes them as well as having horn-like scales or shields. Other characteristics of squamates include having movable quadrate bones that make it possible for them to move their upper jaw in accordance with the neurocranium.

How are Squamata adapted to their environments?

Squamata are adapted to their environments by regulating their body temperature through their exterior environment, a process known as Ectothermy. When it is cold, they seek warmer environments and when it is hot they will seek out a cool environment. This allows them to go sometimes months without feeding.

How many families of Squamata are there?

There are 60 Squamata families that include more than 10,900 species of squamates. The squamata families include the Amphisbaenidae, Cadeidae, Dibamidae, Gekkonidae, and Sphaerodactylidae families. Other Squamata families include the Chamaeleonidae, Iguanidae, Anguidae, and Elapidae. The families are then categorized into the infraorders of Amphisbaenia, Gekkota, Iguania, Lacertoidea, Anguimorpha, Scincoidea, Alethinophidia, and Scolecophidia.

Squamates Guides
Browse through our curated Squamates Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Squamates. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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.39”-.55” | 1-1.4 cm
.6”-.8” | 1.5-2 cm
3”-3.5” | 7.5-9 cm
1.8-3.5 oz | 50-100 g
10-25 years
Armadillo Lizard
1.400
2.000
9.000
0.100
25.00
53600
3D
Armadillo Lizard
3.15”-5.9” | 8-15 cm
6.5’-12’ | 1.98-3.66 m
6.6-11 lb | 3-5 kg
12-18 years
Atlantic Bushmaster
15.000
366.000
5.000
18.00
3205
3D
Atlantic Bushmaster
1.2”-2.75” | 3-7 cm
2’-5’ | .61-1.52 m
2.6-6.6 lb | 1.2-3 kg
30-50 years
Ball Python
7.000
152.000
3.000
50.00
227400
3D
Ball Python
2”-3.9” | 5-10 cm
6.5’-14’ | 1.98-4.27 m
2.2-3.5 lb | 1-1.6 kg
10-20 years
Black Mamba
10.000
427.000
1.600
20.00
437350
3D
Black Mamba
4.37”-6.5” | 11.1-16.5 cm
3.94”-5.91” | 10-15 cm
40”-60” | 101.6-152.4 cm
25-31 lb | 11-14 kg
25-69 years
Blue Iguana
16.500
15.000
152.400
14.000
69.00
34600
3D
Blue Iguana
3.5”-8.7” | 9-22 cm
8’-26’ | 2.44-7.92 m
15-165 lb | 6.8-75 kg
20-28 years
Burmese Python
22.000
792.000
75.000
28.00
72500
3D
Burmese Python
1.2”-2” | 3-5 cm
3’-6.5’ | .91-1.98 m
1-3.3 lb | .45-1.5 kg
10-20 years
California Kingsnake
5.000
198.000
1.500
20.00
16400
3D
California Kingsnake
1.6”-3.15” | 4-8 cm
6.5’-10’ | 1.98-3.05 m
26.4-33 lb | 12-15 kg
15-30 years
Carpet Python
8.000
305.000
15.000
30.00
27200
3D
Carpet Python
.35”-.71” | .9-1.8 cm
.4”-.83” | 1-2.1 cm
3”-5.9” | 7.5-15 cm
1.6-2.5 oz | 45-70 g
3-8 years
Common House Gecko
1.800
2.100
15.000
0.070
8.00
136000
3D
Common House Gecko
.71”-1.1” | 1.8-2.8 cm
.98”-1.38” | 2.5-3.5 cm
7.1”-11” | 18-28 cm
1.6-3 oz | 45-85 g
10-20 years
Common Leopard Gecko
2.800
3.500
28.000
0.085
20.00
300000
3D
Common Leopard Gecko
1.2”-2” | 3-5 cm
24”-40” | .61-1.02 m
.22-.77 lb | .1-.35 kg
10-30 years
Copperhead
5.000
102.000
0.350
30.00
227700
3D
Copperhead
.6”-1.4” | 1.5-3.5 cm
2’-6’ | .61-1.83 m
1-2 lb | .45-.9 kg
10-23 years
Corn Snake
3.500
183.000
0.900
23.00
255000
3D
Corn Snake
.67”-1.06” | 1.7-2.7 cm
.79”-1.34” | 2-3.4 cm
5.9”-9.8” | 15-25 cm
1.2-1.9 oz | 35-55 g
5-20 years
Crested Gecko
2.700
3.400
25.000
0.055
20.00
139300
3D
Crested Gecko
1.1”-1.73” | 2.8-4.4 cm
1.06”-1.65” | 2.7-4.2 cm
10”-16” | 25.4-40.6 cm
2-3 oz | 57-85 g
7-14 years
Desert Iguana
4.400
4.200
40.600
0.085
14.00
6300
3D
Desert Iguana
1.97”-2.4” | 5-6.1 cm
3”-3.62” | 7.6-9.2 cm
20”-24” | 50.8-61 cm
.8-1.2 lb | .38-.55 kg
6-18 years
Eastern Bearded Dragon
6.100
9.200
61.000
0.550
18.00
5100
3D
Eastern Bearded Dragon
1”-1.4” | 2.5-3.5 cm
3.5’-6’ | 1.07-1.83 m
1.1-4.9 lb | .5-2.2 kg
10-34 years
Eastern Black Rat Snake
3.500
183.000
2.200
34.00
1200
3D
Eastern Black Rat Snake
2”-3.9” | 5-10 cm
6.5’-14’ | 1.98-4.27 m
2.2-3.3 lb | 1-1.5 kg
12-19 years
Eastern Green Mamba
10.000
427.000
1.500
19.00
3950
3D
Eastern Green Mamba
1.8”-2.75” | 4.5-7 cm
4’-6’ | 1.22-1.83 m
.9-2 lb | .4-.9 kg
15-20 years
Emerald Tree Boa
7.000
183.000
0.900
20.00
30100
3D
Emerald Tree Boa
3.7”-4.9” | 9.5-12.5 cm
4’-6’ | 1.22-1.83 m
17.6-24.3 lb | 8-11 kg
13-20 years
Gaboon Viper
12.500
183.000
11.000
20.00
140400
3D
Gaboon Viper
3.5”-7.9” | 9-20 cm
10’-30’ | 3.05-9.14 m
100-550 lb | 45-250 kg
10-32 years
Green Anaconda
20.000
914.000
250.000
32.00
77400
3D
Green Anaconda
.35”-.83” | .9-2.1 cm
.31”-.71” | .8-1.8 cm
4”-9” | 10.2-22.9 cm
.07-.21 oz | 2-6 g
3-8 years
Green Anole
2.100
1.800
22.900
0.006
8.00
65000
3D
Green Anole
2.2”-4.45” | 5.6-11.3 cm
2.24”-4.49” | 5.7-11.4 cm
18”-36” | 46-91 cm
7-17.6 oz | .2-.5 kg
5-10 years
Green Basilisk
11.300
11.400
91.000
0.500
10.00
4900
3D
Green Basilisk
1.46”-2.05” | 3.7-5.2 cm
1.18”-1.69” | 3-4.3 cm
12”-17” | 30.5-43.2 cm
2.6-8.8 lb | 1.2-4 kg
12-25 years
Green Iguana
5.200
4.300
43.200
4.000
25.00
42000
3D
Green Iguana
1.6”-2.4” | 4-6 cm
5’-6.5’ | 1.52-1.98 m
2.4-3.5 lb | 1.1-1.6 kg
12-20 years
Green Tree Python
6.000
198.000
1.600
20.00
58000
3D
Green Tree Python
1”-1.4” | 2.5-3.5 cm
3.5’-5’ | 1.07-1.52 m
4.4-6.6 lb | 2-3 kg
24-32 years
Indian Cobra
3.500
152.000
3.000
32.00
38100
3D
Indian Cobra
3”-3.9” | 7.5-10 cm
6’-9’ | 1.83-2.74 m
2.2-4.4 lb | 1-2 kg
10-20 years
Inland Taipan
10.000
274.000
2.000
20.00
79900
3D
Inland Taipan
3.15”-5.5” | 8-14 cm
10’-18’ | 3.05-5.49 m
11-15 lb | 5-6.8 kg
15-23 years
King Cobra
14.000
549.000
6.800
23.00
353900
3D
King Cobra
14.17”-17.72” | 36-45 cm
13.78”-17.32” | 35-44 cm
8’-10’ | 2.43-3.05 m
150-300 lb | 68-136 kg
10-30 years
Komodo Dragon
45.000
44.000
305.000
136.000
30.00
452200
3D
Komodo Dragon
.63”-1.26” | 1.6-3.2 cm
.67”-1.3” | 1.7-3.3 cm
6”-12” | 15.2-30.5 cm
.7-3 oz | 20-85 g
10-20 years
Mexican Alligator Lizard
3.200
3.300
30.500
0.085
20.00
11600
3D
Mexican Alligator Lizard
2.44”-3.78” | 6.2-9.6 cm
1.89”-3” | 4.8-7.6 cm
13”-20” | 33-50.8 cm
2.1-6.3 oz | 60-180 g
3-7 years
Panther Chameleon
9.600
7.600
50.800
0.180
7.00
53200
3D
Panther Chameleon
2.4”-5.9” | 6-15 cm
5’-21’ | 1.52-6.4 m
165-385 lb | 75-175 kg
15-30 years
Reticulated Python
15.000
640.000
175.000
30.00
75800
3D
Reticulated Python
2.95”-8.46” | 7.5-21.5 cm
1.89”-5.31” | 4.8-13.5 cm
20”-54” | 50.8-137 cm
10-20 lb | 4.5-9 kg
10-20 years
Rhino Iguana
21.500
13.500
137.000
9.000
20.00
7800
3D
Rhino Iguana
.4”-.8” | 1-2 cm
16”-38” | 41-97 cm
2.2-3.3 lb | 1-1.5 kg
9-11 years
Ribbon Snake
2.000
97.000
1.500
11.00
21005
3D
Ribbon Snake
.6”-1.2” | 1.5-3 cm
17”-36” | 43-91 cm
.8-1 lb | .36-.45 kg
18-31 years
Rosy Boa
3.000
91.000
0.450
31.00
25030
3D
Rosy Boa
.4”-.6” | 1-1.5 cm
22”-32” | 56-81 cm
.03-.07 lb | 15-30 g
5-15 years
Rough Green Snake
1.500
81.000
0.030
15.00
13300
3D
Rough Green Snake
6.73”-8.3” | 17.1-21.1 cm
6.14”-7.48” | 15.6-19 cm
4’-5’ | 122-152 cm
11-13.2 lb | 5-6 kg
8-20 years
Savannah Monitor
21.100
19.000
152.400
6.000
20.00
35300
3D
Savannah Monitor
.4”-1” | 1-2.5 cm
2’-4’ | .61-1.22 m
2-5 lb | .9-2.3 kg
7-15 years
Texas Coral Snake
2.500
122.000
2.300
15.00
7700
3D
Texas Coral Snake
1.26”-1.69” | 3.2-4.3 cm
1.61”-2.4” | 4.1-6.1 cm
6”-8.5” | 15.2-21.6 cm
1.8-3.4 oz | 50-95 g
12-20 years
Thorny Dragon
4.300
6.100
21.600
0.095
20.00
7700
3D
Thorny Dragon
.59”-1.38” | 1.5-3.5 cm
.83”-1.65” | 2.1-4.2 cm
8”-16” | 20.3-40.6 cm
4.9-14.1 oz | 140-400 g
7-15 years
Tokay Gecko
3.500
4.200
40.600
0.400
15.00
50100
3D
Tokay Gecko
2.4”-4.33” | 6.1-11 cm
2.36”-3.94” | 6-10 cm
14”-24” | 35.6-61 cm
3-6 oz | 85-170 g
3-8 years
Veiled Chameleon
11.000
10.000
61.000
0.170
8.00
39600
3D
Veiled Chameleon
.8”-1.4” | 2-3.5 cm
2’-4’ | .61-1.22 m
.55-1.3 lb | .25-.6 kg
20-25 years
Water Moccasin
3.500
122.000
0.600
25.00
191000
3D
Water Moccasin
1.4”-2.75” | 3.5-7 cm
3’-7’ | .91-2.13 m
2.6-14.8 lb | 1.2-6.7 kg
15-26 years
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
7.000
213.000
6.700
26.00
20800
3D
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Blue Iguana (Cyclura lewisi)
Comparison drawing of the Blue Iguana compared to other lizards

Also referred to as the Grand Cayman blue iguana, the blue iguana (Cyclura lewisi) is one of the larger species of lizard native to the Grand Cayman Island located in the Caribbean. The blue iguana’s skin color ranges from a blueish green to a darker gray that blends into its rocky environment, as it prefers a rocky landscape within the forest or by the seashore. Its preference for the latter habitat is due to the female iguana’s need to lay its eggs in the sand. The blue iguana is characterized as a diurnal herbivore skilled in climbing and easily adaptable to various surroundings.

The Blue Iguana has an overall length between 40”-60” (101.6-152.4 cm), body width of 3.94”-5.91” (10-15 cm), body height of 4.37”-6.5” (11.1-16.5 cm), and weight between 25-31 lb (11-14 kg). The typical lifespan of the Blue Iguana is between 25-69 years.

Set of scaled top and elevation drawings of the Blue Iguana
Also referred to as the Grand Cayman blue iguana, the blue iguana (Cyclura lewisi) is one of the larger species of lizard native to the Grand Cayman Island located in the Caribbean. The blue iguana’s skin color ranges from a blueish green to a darker gray that blends into its rocky environment.

The Blue Iguana has an overall length between 40”-60” (101.6-152.4 cm), body width of 3.94”-5.91” (10-15 cm), body height of 4.37”-6.5” (11.1-16.5 cm), and weight between 25-31 lb (11-14 kg). The typical lifespan of the Blue Iguana is between 25-69 years.

Set of scaled top and elevation drawings of the Blue Iguana
Blue Iguana (Cyclura lewisi)
Height:
4.37”-6.5” | 11.1-16.5 cm
Width:
3.94”-5.91” | 10-15 cm
Length:
40”-60” | 101.6-152.4 cm
Depth:
Weight:
25-31 lb | 11-14 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Cyclura lewisi
Lifespan
25-69 years

Drawings include:

Blue Iguana top view, side

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Common Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Common Leopard Gecko to other lizards

With a name stemming from its spotted coloration, the common leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) is a ground-dwelling lizard that inhabits dry environments such as the desert areas of southern Asia. Considered the first domesticated species of lizard, the common leopard gecko is known as one of the most popular lizard pets. It is small and durable, with wild geckos possessing a duller coloration than that of captive geckos. The common leopard gecko is able to regenerate its tail upon voluntary disconnecting it when attacked or bitten. The new tail will appear as slightly different than the original, often short and stout.

The Common Leopard Gecko has an overall length between 7.1”-11” (18-28 cm), body width of .98”-1.38” (2.5-3.5 cm), body height of .71”-1.1” (1.8-2.8 cm), and weight between 1.6-3 oz (45-85 g). The typical lifespan of the Common Leopard Gecko is between 10-20 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Common Leopard Gecko in various poses
With a name stemming from its spotted coloration, the common leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) is a ground-dwelling lizard that inhabits dry environments such as the desert areas of southern Asia. It is often considered the first domesticated species of lizard.

The Common Leopard Gecko has an overall length between 7.1”-11” (18-28 cm), body width of .98”-1.38” (2.5-3.5 cm), body height of .71”-1.1” (1.8-2.8 cm), and weight between 1.6-3 oz (45-85 g). The typical lifespan of the Common Leopard Gecko is between 10-20 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Common Leopard Gecko in various poses
Common Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius)
Height:
.71”-1.1” | 1.8-2.8 cm
Width:
.98”-1.38” | 2.5-3.5 cm
Length:
7.1”-11” | 18-28 cm
Depth:
Weight:
1.6-3 oz | 45-85 g
Area:
Scientific Name
Eublepharis macularius
Lifespan
10-20 years

Drawings include:

Common Leopard Gecko top view, side

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Crested Gecko (Correlophus ciliatus)
Comparison drawing of the Crested Gecko compared to other lizards

Also known as the eyelash gecko, the crested gecko (Correlophus ciliatus) is distinguished by its lack of eyelids. It uses its tongue to keep its eyes clear and moist. It also has hair-like protrusions that fan out above its eyes which resembles that of eyelashes (hence the secondary name). Considered a larger species of gecko, the crested gecko features a wedge-shaped head, clawed toes to aid with climbing, and a detachable tail which will not grow back. As such, most found in the wild appear without a tail. The crested gecko is also an omnivore, having a diet that consists of fruit, nectar, and insects.

The Crested Gecko has an overall length between 5.9”-9.8” (15-25 cm), body width of .79”-1.34” (2-3.4 cm), body height of .67”-1.06” (1.7-2.7 cm), and weight between 1.2-1.9 oz (35-55 g). The typical lifespan of the Crested Gecko is between 5-20 years.

Set of scaled top and elevation drawings of the Crested Gecko
Also known as the eyelash gecko, the crested gecko (Correlophus ciliatus) is distinguished by its lack of eyelids. It uses its tongue to keep its eyes clear and moist. It also has hair-like protrusions that fan out above its eyes which resembles that of eyelashes (hence the secondary name).

The Crested Gecko has an overall length between 5.9”-9.8” (15-25 cm), body width of .79”-1.34” (2-3.4 cm), body height of .67”-1.06” (1.7-2.7 cm), and weight between 1.2-1.9 oz (35-55 g). The typical lifespan of the Crested Gecko is between 5-20 years.

Set of scaled top and elevation drawings of the Crested Gecko
Crested Gecko (Correlophus ciliatus)
Height:
.67”-1.06” | 1.7-2.7 cm
Width:
.79”-1.34” | 2-3.4 cm
Length:
5.9”-9.8” | 15-25 cm
Depth:
Weight:
1.2-1.9 oz | 35-55 g
Area:
Scientific Name
Correlophus ciliatus
Lifespan
5-20 years

Drawings include:

Crested Gecko top view, side

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King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)
Scale illustration of an average King Cobra compared to other snake species

The King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) has a fearsome reputation because it is highly venomous and the longest of its group. Also called hamadryad, the King cobra belongs to the family Elapidae having two fangs in the upper jaw it uses to keep grip on every bite. Males are larger than females, however, all adults have a bulky appearance with olive green skin showing bands of white and black colors, and oval-shaped hood. The King cobra prefers rainforests, plains, mangroves, bamboo thickets and grassland, and its defense mechanism includes raising to a third of its body, showing fangs and extended hood, and loud hisses. The snake builds a nest and guards eggs.

The King Cobra has an overall length between 10’-18’ (3.05-5.49 m), body width of roughly 3.15”-5.5” (8-14 cm), and weight from 11-15 lb (5-6.8 kg). The typical lifespan of the King Cobra is between 15-23 years.

Series of top view illustrations of the King Cobra
The King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) has a fearsome reputation because it is highly venomous and the longest of its group. Also called hamadryad, the King cobra belongs to the family Elapidae having two fangs in the upper jaw it uses to keep grip on every bite.

The King Cobra has an overall length between 10’-18’ (3.05-5.49 m), body width of roughly 3.15”-5.5” (8-14 cm), and weight from 11-15 lb (5-6.8 kg). The typical lifespan of the King Cobra is between 15-23 years.

Series of top view illustrations of the King Cobra
King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)
Height:
Width:
3.15”-5.5” | 8-14 cm
Length:
10’-18’ | 3.05-5.49 m
Depth:
Weight:
11-15 lb | 5-6.8 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Ophiophagus hannah
Lifespan
15-23 years

Drawings include:

King Cobra top view (assorted)

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Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Black Mamba to other snakes

You may need to keep distance when handling the Black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) because they are unpredictable, agile, fast-moving, and highly venomous. This second longest venomous snake is a member of the family Elapidae and common to Sub-Saharan Africa with a body usually in grey or dark brown and prefers dense forest, woodland, rocky slopes, and savannah. A coffin-shaped head and long, cylindrical but slender body ensure the black mamba survives in both terrestrial and arboreal environments. The black mamba’s primary defense mechanism includes hissing, spreading its narrow cobra-like neck-flap, and opening its inky-black mouth, from which it gets its name.

The Black Mamba has an overall length between 6.5’-14’ (1.98-4.27 m), body width of roughly 2”-3.9” (5-10 cm), and weight from 2.2-3.5 lb (1-1.6 kg). The typical lifespan of the Black Mamba is between 10-20 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Black Mamba in various poses
You may need to keep distance when handling the Black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) because they are unpredictable, agile, fast-moving, and highly venomous. This second longest venomous snake is a member of the family Elapidae and common to Sub-Saharan Africa with a body usually in grey or brown.

The Black Mamba has an overall length between 6.5’-14’ (1.98-4.27 m), body width of roughly 2”-3.9” (5-10 cm), and weight from 2.2-3.5 lb (1-1.6 kg). The typical lifespan of the Black Mamba is between 10-20 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Black Mamba in various poses
Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)
Height:
Width:
2”-3.9” | 5-10 cm
Length:
6.5’-14’ | 1.98-4.27 m
Depth:
Weight:
2.2-3.5 lb | 1-1.6 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Dendroaspis polylepis
Lifespan
10-20 years

Drawings include:

Black Mamba top view (assorted)

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