Monday, May 25, 2020

Yellow-Backed Spiny Lizard

The desert spiny lizard is found in the southwestern United States and deep into Mexico. It has large pointed scales and a black wedge-shaped mark on each side of the neck. Males have a blue-green patch on the throat and and each side of the belly. The belly patches are edged with black. In females the throat and belly patches are weak or absent. The head is orange or reddish when breeding. There are eight subspecies. 
This male has pretty reflective side markings and the blue-green throat patch. 
A better view of the throat patch.
The yellow-backed spiny lizard, the sub-species in this post, is found in much of Southern California, southern Nevada, extreme southwestern Utah, portions of northern Arizona and a small portion of Baja. It is uniformly tan or light yellow above, with no distinct markings. It turns darker brown on the sides. There are usually faint blotches on the backs of females and sometimes adult males. 
This female has yellow around the hind legs and back onto the tail. 
Look between and above the hind legs and note the prominent scales. 

These lizards were found off Hayfield Road of the I-10 freeway in the Colorado Desert, between Chiriaco Summit and Desert Center. 
This spiny lizard is basking in the sun. 

1 comment:

  1. I remember the spiny lizard our kids kept as a pet for years. I love the dragon-like skin!