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Tonight’s subject is a Common Side-blotched Lizard. I photographed him sunning himself on a rock at Sabino Canyon last Sunday morning. According to the guides, this is one of the more frequently seen lizards in the Sonoran Desert.
That may be, but I don’t see these lizards all that often. Other species seem to outnumber it. This is a pretty small lizard, extending only about 2.5 inches from nose to base of tail. Throw in the tail, however, and you have a six or seven inch animal!
The big black blotch on its side is the principal identifying characteristic of this lizard. That aside, it looks very much like several other common lizard species, such as Elegant Earless Lizards and Zebra-tailed Lizards. This one, by the way, is a male. Those pretty turquoise scales on his back and tail are the give-away for gender identification.
On another issue, a shout-out to subscriber Rene Clark, who identified the “mystery butterfly” of a couple of posts ago as being a Fatal Metalmark, a relatively common species of butterfly. Kind of a weird name for a butterfly, isn’t it? The guide books describe the species’ colors as being “variable” and that surely is the truth. The one that I displayed was bright orange, but many of the illustrations of this species show it to as being a sort of drab dun color. Go figure.
Tonight’s photo was taken with a Canon 5Diii, 180 F3.5L Macro Lens, ISO 200, aperture preferred setting, f10 @ 1/1250.