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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Warming up

We had several nice looks at lizards during our hike at The Cedars on 25 April 2015.  I'm pretty sure these were Sagebrush Lizards (Scleropus graciosus).  However, since I'm new to identifying lizards, I'd like to ask for some help.  I'll show all five individuals that I photographed.

Here's the next individual:

I'm leaning towards Sagebrush Lizard (rather than Western Fence Lizard) for several reasons: (1) finer, smoother scales (with less of a keel and a shorter spine); (2) no yellow on the hind legs; (3) a dark bar on the "shoulder."

The next picture shows a close-up of the scales.  (And don't miss those emerald green colors behind the back leg!  Click on the image for a larger version.)

The photo below shows one of the smallest individuals I photographed.  This is a good opportunity to note the extremely long toes, if you haven't already.

Whereas the first three individuals were pale with greenish overtones, the last two were amazingly red!
Is this a color variant?  Does it have to do with the breeding season?  What a wonderful match for the red rocks of The Cedars!

One more orange-red lizard this one was sunning on the rocks by the creek:

I'd welcome any help you can provide in confirming the identity of this lizard or offering another suggestion.  And please share any thoughts you have about the red coloration.  I'm curious!

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