lizards in-hand, 2011-2012

February 20, 2013

From these 2 seasons, here are a few shots of 4 hand-held lizards.  Shots of them held like this allow noticing some of their sex-specific characteristics and some external parasites.  The last 3 of these specimens have been shown in a previous post, and one previously posted shot of each of those is repeated here.

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western fence liz, adult female (a), Oquirrhs

early April 2011, western fence liz (Sceloporus occidentalis), adult female (a), dorsal, SE Oquirrh Mtns, Utah Co, UT

The dorsal coloration of this lizard lacks bluish spangles.  In my experience such spangles appear on most adult males of this species, but not adult females.

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Same specimen as above:

western fence liz, adult female (b), Oquirrhs

early April 2011, western fence liz (Sceloporus occidentalis), adult female (b), ventral, SE Oquirrh Mtns, Utah Co, UT

Note the lack of enlarged postanal scales below the vent of this western fence lizard.  That means it’s a female–despite the rather bright orange, black & blue coloration in its ventral pattern.

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desert horned liz, adult male in sagebrush (b), House

mid May 2011, desert horned liz (Phrynosoma platyrhinos), adult male in sagebrush (b), unobscured, South House Range, Millard Co, UT

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Same specimen as above:

desert horned liz, adult male in sagebrush (c), House

mid May 2011, desert horned liz (Phrynosoma platyrhinos), adult male in sagebrush (c), ventral, South House Range, Millard Co, UT

I was hiking with a state fish biologist who had never seen this species before, and he was glad to hold it for this photo.  Note the scarring on this specimen.  Some predator had apparently attacked him, but he had survived.

This desert horned lizard was found among the sagebrush in the bottom of a steep-walled canyon, up at about 7,000 ft elevation.  It was a surprise to find this species up this high–now the highest elevation I’ve seen it.  No longer will I arrogantly presume desert horned lizards fail to reach 7,000 ft.

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sagebrush liz, small adult male, Oquirrhs

early Sept 2011, sagebrush liz (Sceloporus graciosus), small adult male, W Oquirrh Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

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Same specimen as above:

sagebrush liz, small adult male, anterior ventral, Oquirrhs

early Sept 2011, sagebrush liz (Sceloporus graciosus), small adult male, anterior ventral, W Oquirrh Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

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Same specimen as above:

sagebrush liz, small adult male, posterior ventral, Oquirrhs

early Sept 2011, sagebrush liz (Sceloporus graciosus), small adult male, posterior ventral, W Oquirrh Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

The bluish color on this sagebrush lizard’s ventral neck & abdomen, along with its enlarged postanal scales, signify it’s a male.  If it were an older male then this bluish color would be darker.  If it were a female then it would have none of this bluish ventral color.

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great basin collared liz, old adult male (b), Fish Springs

late May 2012, great basin collared liz (Crotaphytus bicintores), old adult male (b), Fish Springs Range, Juab Co, UT

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Same specimen as above:

great basin collared liz, male, mites, Fish Springs

late May 2012, great basin collared liz (Crotaphytus bicintores), old adult male with orange mites, Fish Springs Range, Juab Co, UT

This great basin collared lizard was the first of its species on which I’ve noticed orange mites.  I presume these are the same orange mites I’ve noticed before on sideblotch, western fence and sagebrush lizards.  As I’ve seen with those other lizard species, here the mites are not in the ear but rather the depression posterior to the ear.

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