Gila Monster Heloderma suspectum

Gila Monster
Gila Monster
The Gila Monster (pronounced "Heela") is one of the two confirmed venomous lizards in the world, the other being its close relative, the Beaded Lizard. (Some add the Komodo Dragon.)
Gila Monster
Gila Monster
Banded Gila Monster pushing rock
This attractively pink and black coloured, artistically-patterned lizard can grow to some 2 feet long. It has a beaded look to its skin and banded tail which add to the native artisan impact. The role of the colours and pattern is to warn predators that it is venomous. It eats small mammals, reptiles, birds and eggs.
Gila Monsters
Gila Monster
The Gila Monster is native to deserts of the southwestern USA and northern Mexico and spends most of the hot days in underground burrows living off fat reserves stored in its tail.
Banded Gila Monster
Reticulate Gila Monster
ReticulateGila Monster
There are two subspecies: the Banded, H. s. cinctum, (above left) with a black banded pattern on pink native mainly to the Mojave Desert and the Reticulate, H. s. suspectum, (above centre/right) with a darker, netted pattern native mainly to the Sonora and Chihuahua Deserts. Scientists are experimenting with proteins from its venom as potential medicines for diabetes and alzheimers.