This lizard is colorful, with well defined (spiny) scales, as pictured. It has a black collar, with the rear edge bordered in white. It is about 5 inches in length.
It was spotted in Miller Canyon in the Huachuca mountains in southeast Arizona, at about a 5,000 foot elevation. Per the Tucson Herpetological Society…”The various mountain ranges in southeastern Arizona are often called 'Sky Islands' because, like islands in water, each has a mostly self-contained ecosystem separated from similar ecosystems by difficult-to-cross large distances (on the desert floor). These spiny lizards are one of the species that live in different "Sky Islands", but nowhere in between.” The wooded area is a combination of sycamore, cottonwood, oak, maple and pine.
I was sitting on a stack of cinder blocks photographing hummingbirds, when I felt something scampering up my back on my shirt. A colleague told me that this lizard was going after a fly that had landed half way up my back (Disclaimer…I generally do not attract flies, but they are very thick in the Huachucas this time of year). I turned around to see the lizard on the blocks right next to me, with no concern about my sudden interest and close proximity. It allowed me to get close and photograph for an extended period…rapidly becoming my new “besty”. Per online sources, this lizard species is live-bearing, and shares communal shelters.
Lat: 31.42, Long: -110.28
Spotted on Sep 13, 2018
Submitted on Sep 25, 2018
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