Monday, July 31, 2017

Clark Spiny Lizard

My previous post was on the Arizona desert whiptail which I saw in Estes Canyon in the Ajo Mountains. While I was photographing the whiptail it jumped off the rock it was on and this Clark spiny lizard replaced it. So I just continued taking pictures. It then shifted to several other rocks. 

I believe this is a young female. It was smaller than most spiny lizards I've seen and the cross-bands were very prevalent. 
This may be the first spiny lizard I've seen in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument which leads me to believe that it must like warmer weather and may not be out in the spring when I normally go.

It can be gray, bluish green or blue above with dusky or black bands on the wrists and forearms. The bands are really what help make the determination. 
The cross-bands on the forelimbs are very visible.
The dark shoulder patch is visible, but not very pronounced.
It has a black shoulder mark, like the desert spiny lizard, and can be irregularly cross-banded with dark and light markings which can become faint or disappear in older males. Males have blue side and throat patches. In females the blue patches are faint or absent. 
It is usually a tree dweller, but can be found on the ground among rocks, like this one. 
They are mostly found in central and southeastern Arizona and down into Mexico, but from the map in Peterson Field Guides to Western Reptiles and Amphibians there is an isolated population in the Ajo area which is specifically notes.