The western whiptail is widely distributed but uncommon over much of its range in California, except in desert regions where it is abundant in suitable habitats. The species is found throughout the state except in the humid northwest, along the humid outer Coast Ranges, or mountainous regions above 2290 m (7500 ft). Also absent from much of the northern part of the Central Valley (Montanucci 1968). The western whiptail occurs in a variety of habitats including valley-foothill hardwood, valley-foothill hardwood-conifer, valley-foothill riparian, mixed conifer, pinyon-juniper, chamise-redshank chaparral, mixed chaparral, desert riparian, desert scrub, desert wash, alkali scrub, and annual grassland.
The western whiptail is a small lizard that ranges throughout most of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Most of its populations appear stable, and is not listed as endangered in any of the states comprising its range. It lives in a wide variety of habitats, including deserts and semiarid shrubland, usually in areas with sparse vegetation; also woodland, open dry forest, and riparian growth. It lives in burrows. Major differences between this species and the checkered whiptail include.. more