Look, a Lizard!

I was too busy with work over the weekend to get out in the woods here much, but I have a few photos left from Arizona for you. Lizard!

021 (1024x766)

Spotted this guy at the Desert Botanical Garden. (Yes, it is a male, judging by the hint of blue on his throat.) I’m pretty hopeless at lizard ID; even after consulting this great Lizards of Arizona site the best I’ve got is “maybe something in the genus Sceloporus?”, the problem being that he doesn’t look spiny enough to be a desert spiny lizard and most of the other likely suspects aren’t found in Maricopa County. Let me know in the comments if you can identify him. Regardless, I usually I can’t get close enough to lizards to get a decent photo, so he made me happy.

022 (1024x766)No lizards here in northern Wisconsin. And the snakes and turtles are asleep under the snow and ice.

UPDATE: Ah-ha! Neil of microecos provided the necessary clue to this lizard’s identity in the comments – what I had taken for just a shadow in the lizard’s “armpit” in the first photo is actually an important diagnostic marking. This guy is a Common Side-blotched Lizard, Una stansburiana.

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4 thoughts on “Look, a Lizard!”

  1. I find phyrnosomatids really hard, so many species and so much variation within species. It helps to have the lizard in one hand and a good field guide or a smart phone with internet access in the other since it often comes down to range limits, and things like gular folds and rows of enlarged scales. Not quite as bad as Eumeces though, where you often have to count labial scales!

    Anyway luckily you caught the diagnostic feature on this guy, which is a distinct dark erm, blotch on the side just behind the leg…

  2. I love lizards, but we don’t have any here in the Ottawa area. I’m hoping to see (and photograph this time!) another Five-lined Skink when I’m down in southern Ontario next May.

    Yet another reason to visit Arizona sometime!

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