Central United States and Mexico starting in southern Utah and Colorado through Arizona, New Mexico, western and central Texas, and covering most of Mexico.
Can be found relatively far from water bodies in shrubland, forests, or deserts, but usually stays close to a steady source of water. This can include canals, streams, and springs. Prefers areas with rocky hillsides, ledges, and ravines. Mainly hunts for food near water sources on banks; diet can include toads, frogs, lizards, salamanders, and arthropods.
Dorsum is gray, olive, or brown and exhibits a stripe down the back that can be yellow or white; possess keeled dorsal scales. Head is gray with greenish to brownish ventral coloring. Males have longer tails than females. Females and males mate in the spring and females give birth in the summer. Clutch sizes can range from 3 to 25 young. Young typically exhibit brighter colors and overall greater color contrast than fully developed individuals.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians