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Western whiptail

Aspidoscelis tigris [Baird and Girard, 1852]

Description:

The western whiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris [Baird and Girard, 1852]) is a small lizard (adults average 25 to 35 cm - about a foot - in length) . Most of its populations appear stable, and is not listed as endangered in any of the states comprising its range. Major differences between this species and the Checkered Whiptail (Aspidoscelis tesselata) include the lack of enlarged scales anterior to the gular fold and the presence of enlarged antebatrachial scales. It was previously known under Cnemidophorus tigris, until phylogenetic analyses concluded that the genus Cnemidophorus was polyphyletic. Since it does not migrate, a number of forms have developed in different regions, several of which have been given sub-specific names - for example the California Whiptail, Aspidoscelis tigris munda.

Habitat:

It ranges throughout most of the southwestern United States. It lives in a wide variety of habitats, including deserts and semiarid shrubland, usually in areas with sparse vegetation; also woodland, open dry forest, and riparian growth. It lives in burrows.

Notes:

On Schist rock near bottom of Grand Canyon, Bright Angel Trail, AZ

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Robb Hannawacker
Spotted by
Robb Hannawacker

Arizona, USA

Spotted on Apr 15, 2005
Submitted on Jul 12, 2013

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