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Categories & Keywords

Category:Animals
Subcategory:Reptiles
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:Kaibab National Forest, climbing, colorado river, desert, desert spiny lizard, grand canyon, hunting, lizard, magister, mojave, north rim, perched, sceloporus, spiny, stocky
Photo Info

Dimensions5600 x 7000
Original file size19.6 MB
Image typeJPEG
Lizard's Food Chain

Lizard's Food Chain

While eating my shore-side lunch one afternoon while rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, I had this Desert Spiny lizard come down the tree I was leaning against while eating my lunch...he was watching all the bugs that my fresh lunch were attracting.

A large (up to about 142 mm or 5.6" from snout to vent), stocky lizard with large, pointed, keeled, overlapping scales. Base coloration is gray, tan, or brown. In the southern subspecies (S. m. magister) males often have a large longitudinal purple patch or bar on the mid-dorsum. In north-central Arzona and in the subspecies which lives on the northeastern plateaus (S. m. cephaloflavus) adults often have a yellow or orange head. Yellow or orange scales are scattered on the sides of the body. A black wedge shape marks each shoulder. Males have two large, bright, blue-green patches on the belly and a blue-green patch on the throat. Belly and throat patches are faint or absent in females. The Desert Spiny Lizard ranges across the deserts of southwestern Arizona and the northeastern plateaus at elevations ranging from near sea level along the Colorado River to about about 5,000'.