Desert Spiny Lizard

Desert Spiny Lizard

Sceloporus magister, Desert spiny lizard

2 languages
Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Genus
SPECIES
Sceloporus magister
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
5-6 yrs
Length
about 142 mm

Sceloporus magister, also known as the desert spiny lizard, is a lizard species of the family Phrynosomatidae, native to the Chihuahuan Desert and Sonoran Desert of North America.

Di

Diurnal

Ca

Carnivore

In

Insectivores

Te

Terrestrial

Ov

Oviparous

Pr

Precocial

Bu

Burrowing

Ar

Arboreal

So

Solitary

No

Not a migrant

Hi

Hibernating

D

starts with

Appearance

The Desert spiny lizard belongs to a family of lizards adapted to life in hot deserts. Adult males of this species usually have conspicuous blue/violet patches on the belly and throat and a green/blue color on their tails and sides. Females and juveniles have large combined dark spots on their back and belly areas, and the blue/violet and green/blue coloring is absent. Both sexes have brownish/yellow triangular spots on their shoulders. Besides their bright colors, Desert spiny lizards change to darker colors during the winter to allow them to absorb more heat from the sun, and become lighter during the summer to reflect the sun's radiation.

Distribution

Geography

Desert spiny lizards are native to the Chihuahuan Desert and the Sonoran Desert of North America. In the United States, they are found in the states of Arizona, California, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah. They also occur in the Mexican states of Sonora, Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Durango. These lizards inhabit Sonoran desert scrub, Great Basin desert scrub, semidesert grassland, chaparral, and woodlands. They are usually found on lower slopes, bajadas, plains, and low valleys, often in the branches of trees or in the vicinity of ground cover such as wood piles, rock piles, and pack rat nests.

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Desert spiny lizards are primarily arboreal and diurnal creatures. They are solitary and prefer to be on their own. Usually, during the morning hours, they will be out basking in the sun on rocks or any hard surface that is in direct sunlight; however, like many desert reptiles, they will seek shelter, usually underground in burrows or any suitable cover that provides shade, during the hottest part of the day in the summertime. They hibernate in late fall and during the cold months of winter before re-emerging in spring. Desert spiny lizards frequently do push-ups, pushing their body up and down, as a form of territorial display. They also use camouflage so they are not so easily seen by predators.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Desert spiny lizards are carnivores (insectivores). They feed on a variety of insects including ants, beetles, and caterpillars, spiders, centipedes, and will also hunt small lizards.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
spring, summer
BABY NAME
hatchling
web.animal_clutch_size
4-24 eggs

Desert spiny lizards breed in spring and summer. Females lay anywhere from 4 to 24 eggs in soil or underground.

Population

Population threats

Desert spiny lizards don’t face any major threats at present.

Population number

The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Desert spiny lizard total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.

References

1. Sceloporus magister Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sceloporus_magister
2. Sceloporus magister on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/64123/12746824

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