Thursday, July 24, 2014

Showing her colors

Photo by Mark Hengesbaugh, click for larger view

Mark writes:

I’m seeing largish, very blue whiptails down by Bear Bridge and it’s confusing. The whiptail in Sabino Canyon Rec Area known for a blue tail is the immature Tiger Whiptail and this is too big to be an immature and isn’t a Tiger. So I contacted USFS’s retired lizard guy, Larry Jones, editor of Lizards of trhe American Southwest. Larry said he’d sent similar photos to various experts and they all identified her as a member of the Sonoran Spotted  / Gila Spotted group, even though the books don’t mention the blue. An especially interesting feature of this individual is that the blue tail has an orangish tip.

Anne says: The Sonoran Spotted / Gila Spotted lizards are always females. Yes, all of them. They reproduce via parthenogenesis.

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