Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sierra Alligator Lizard

The Sierra alligator lizard is found in the northern portion of central California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. While on a backpacking trip last summer, I found the following alligator lizards near Sunrise Camp in Yosemite National Park. The first thing that caught my attention was the yellow on the sides.
They have keeled scales on the back and sides, but the keeling is not as great as in the San Diego alligator lizard.

They also have keeling on their leg scales.

The upper coloration is olive-brown, bluish or greenish and there are usually no definate crossbands, as you find with the San Diego alligator lizard. The largest lizards are also more than an inch shorter than their southern cousins, from snout to vent, and they also have shorter tails. They live at a substantially higher elevation, up to 10,500 feet. These were found at over 9,400 feet.
The eyes are dark around the pupils, instead of yellow as in the San Diego alligator lizard.

This, smaller, lizard did not have the yellow side coloring.

The underside is yellowish or greenish.

A closer look at the belly scales.

1 comment:

  1. i have a 12 inch alligator lizard his name is Godzilla and its pretty cool I gave him a grass hopper and he devoured it in about 15 seconds. but i had a question how do i make him friendler he runs when i touch him sometimes but ill pet the back of his head very gently and i think it calms him down. i had another alligator lizard back in 2009 its name was grahm he died on accident, i fell asleep while holding him and i woke up with him under me i couldnt tell if he suffocated or i snaped his back i felt so bad because he was really cool i could play video games and not worry about him when i let him chill on my table. but yeah i like your post, really good info on them. its really cool how they can be 20 inches going to go now good bye.