Large, common, and active during the day, the Desert Iguana is one of the more frequently seen and recognized local lizards. It may be up to fourteen inches long and 2/3 of its length is tail. The overall color of this lizard is a gray-brown, but it can vary from light to dark depending upon its internal temperature. The same lizard may appear to be dark brown when it first emerges into the sunlight in the morning, and may then be very light tan to white by mid-afternoon. It has a pattern of spots and bars on its sides and a ridge-like row of enlarged scales along the center of its back. The female lays a clutch of three to eight eggs in early summer. Habitat: It may be found at elevation of up to 5000 feet, but is more typically a lizard of the open desert and alluvial fans. The Desert Iguana is likely to be found where creosote bush is the dominant plant. It is primarily a terrestrial lizard but sometimes basks atop small rocks. It will climb up into shrubs to find food. Diet: Chiefly herbivorous, the Desert Iguana prefers the fresh leaves, buds, and flowers of plants, especially the creosote bush. It also eats insects occasionally. Adaptations: This is our most heat tolerant lizard. They remain active long after all other species have retreated under cover. By climbing up into shrubs it avoids the extreme heat of the ground surface. The iguana has a nasal salt-secreting gland that allows it to void salty body waste while conserving water.