The greater short-horned lizard is often mistaken for its close relative the pygmy short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglasii ), which has the same basic body type consisting of small pointed scales around the head and back. Until recent mitochondrial DNA evidence, P. hernandesi was considered to be the same species as P. douglasii. They are now considered distinct species with the pygmy short-horned lizard (P. douglasii ) occupying the northwest portion of the United States and extreme southern British Columbia When placed together the two are easily distinguished at full size, the pygmy short-horned lizard being much smaller. P. hernandesi is a highly variable species with different geographic populations exhibiting differences in color, pattern and size with some authorities describing five subspecies… greater short-horned lizard ranges in size from 2 to 5 inches (5.1 to 12.7 cm) in snout to vent length (SVL) …females average about 7 cm… males…5 cm (about 2 inches.
Short-horned lizards are "sit-and-wait" predators. They feed primarily on ants… occasional grasshopper or beetle… diurnal creatures being most active during mid-day and burrowing at night. They rely extensively on camouflage to avoid predator…
They are viviparous, giving live birth : the female will birth 5 to 48 offspring from July to September. The young will measure about 24 mm from snout to vent and weigh each about one gram. The young have no horns yet and are able to take care of themselves within a few hours; they are not able to fully crawl until they are a day old.
The greater short-horned lizard is the most widely distributed lizard in North America… occupies ranges from semiarid plains to high elevations in the mountains…22 species are recognized as being valid” Wikipedia June 2019