Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Zebra-Tailed Lizard - Organ Pipe 2017

The zebra-tailed lizard loves open sandy gravel and heat. In two of my visits to Organ Pipe Cactus NM this year I've visited Quitobaquito Spring, a rare oasis in the Sonoran Desert, and found zebra-tailed lizards both times in the sandy gravel near the foliage generated by the spring water. 
On the sandy gravel near Quitobaquito. Note that the tail and the toes on the hind feet are in the air. 
Note the front toes are in the air as are the back toes as well as the rest of the body. 
In looking closely at my pictures it becomes apparent that one of the lizards is minimizing its contacts with the ground. Its tail is in the air, its torso is in the air and the toes on all four feet are in the air. It makes sense that the lizard is minimizing contact with the ground to reduce the amount of heat it is absorbing.

Another of the lizards is resting on a rock and I was able to get photos of it from a number of different angles. It is a male with two black belly stripes and some yellow and turquoise blue near those stripes, as well as some orange.  
The belly colors are stunning.
From the front it almost looks like Kermit the frog. 

I visited OPCNM in August and found the zebra-tailed lizard below resting on a post at the Bates Ranch. Beautiful.


  1. Amazing photos! He's pretty well camouflaged--except for those vanity stripes on his chest.

  2. I may be an expert in finding gelato shops, but you are king at spotting a camouflaged reptile.