Saturday, May 29, 2010

Side-blotched lizard variability

Side-blotched lizards have a spectacular variety of color patterns and like fingerprints, no two are the same. This is a group of 3 males (on the left) and 2 females, which appear to be full of eggs. The 3 males of this group represent all 3 levels of male dominance. The center lizard is an orange-throat and is able to defend a large area with many females. The lizard 2nd from the left is a blue-throat and is only able to defend a small area with one female. The lizard on the far left is a yellow throat and cannot defend itself against the other two. It must sneak around the other males' territories to find females. It is still a beautiful lizard.

This is a good shot of the orange-throat blending in well with the lichens.

A belly shot of the dominant male:

A contrasting shot of one of the females:

This was the only whiptail that we would find on this day. We placed the whiptail on the rock for a good background. Whiptails seldom climb rocks.

A close-up of a cool lizard. You've gotta love those fingernails and large ear openings:

And a belly shot. Whiptails won't hold this pose very long:

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