The 11 Most Outstanding Sonoran Desert Animals

Alexander Pearson
The 11 Most Outstanding Sonoran Desert Animals

Between the Sonoran desert animals there are the tarantula, the bobcat, the cacomixtle and the Gila monster. Most of the animals found in the Sonoran desert are native to this town.

This happens because the species that inhabited this desert have evolved and have particular characteristics that increase their chances of surviving in these conditions..

Then, the climatic conditions of the Sonoran desert are the reason why there you can get a great variety of animals unique in their kind and in the world..

The most relevant Sonoran desert animals

1- Dipodomys ordii

Also recognized as a kangaroo rat, it is a rodent native to North America. Their long legs and the fact that they walk like bipeds are the reasons why they are known by that name..

However, there is a very distant relationship between the kangaroo and the Dipodomys ordii.

2- Northern Cacomixtle

This is a nocturnal mammal belonging to the family of raccoons and coatis.

It is also called a ring-tailed cat because of its long tail with circular black spots. Other names for this animal are miner's cat and rintel.

3- Tarantula

The tarantula is a spider with a dark fur that belongs to the genus Theraphosidae. This spider has a very painful bite.

However, this bite is not usually fatal, unlike the bite of a black widow spider, for example..

4- Bobcat

This lynx is a carnivore belonging to the felidae family. It is not as large as the Canada lynx, with whom it shares the habitat.

The bobcat is twice the size of a regular cat.

5- Saguaros owl

It is also known as the dwarf owl. It is a very small owl, the size of a human hand; that is, between 12 and 15 centimeters.

The saguaro owl is from North America, so it is regularly found in the Sonoran desert.

6- Gila Monster

This reptile is a poisonous lizard that has a black coloration with yellow spots, allowing it to easily camouflage itself in the desert landscape. It can measure about 60 centimeters.

7- Mixed busardo

This is a bird also called falcon, Harris's busardo, peuco and mixed hawk, among other names..

It is medium in size compared to other birds. The mixed busardos, usually glide a lot, since the shape of their wings favors this movement.

8- Wasp hunts tarantulas

As the name implies, this is a spider wasp that hunts tarantulas for food. These wasps have a black body and yellowish-reddish wings. They are generally around 5 centimeters tall..

9- bark scorpion

This scorpion is renowned for its deadly sting. It is brownish-brown in color and has long, thin claws.

It can be found in the Sonoran desert and in desert habitats that are close to it, such as the state of Arizona. 

10- Collared lizard

This reptile gets its name from the black collar-shaped spot that is right on its neck..

This animal belongs to the suborder Iguania and has a very striking coloration: an intense turquoise body and a yellow head.

11-Gambel's Quail

This bird is distributed throughout the deserts of northwestern Mexico, including Sonora. It measures approximately 25 cm and is distinguished from other quail by its relatively short, rounded wings, as well as its long legs. The plumage has blue and gray tones and the head is copper-colored.

Spends most of the time walking through undergrowth and brush, looking for small prey (usually insects) to feed on.


  1. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Sonoran Desert" in: Encyclopaedia Britannica (September 19, 2017) Retrieved: November 8, 2017 from Encyclopaedia Britannica:
  2. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum “Sonoran Desert Fact Sheets” at: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Retrieved on: November 8, 2017 from Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum:
  3. "Kangaroo Rats" in: Desert USA. Retrieved on: November 8, 2017 from Desert USA:
  4. Castro, L. "Tarantula". Animals. Retrieved on: November 8, 2017 from Animals:
  5. "Cacomixtle" in EcuRed. Retrieved on November 8, 2017 from EcuRed:

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