The Gila monster is a species of venomous lizard native to the southwestern United States and the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora. A heavy, typically slow-moving lizard, up to 60 cm long, the Gila monster is the only venomous lizard native to the United States.
Conservation status: Near Threatened (Population decreasing) Encyclopedia of Life.
The Gila monster is one of only a handful of venomous lizards in the world. Others include the similar-looking Mexican beaded lizards, as well as iguanas and monitor lizards. Its venom is a fairly mild neurotoxin. And though a Gila bite is extremely painful, none has resulted in a reported human death.
Scientific name: Heloderma suspectum
Higher classification: Heloderma