Another Spotted Whiptail
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A few days ago I published a photo of a Sonoran Spotted Whiptail, a representative of one of our many local lizard species. It was an ok photo, nothing to write home about, but it did the job of illustrating my subject. The other day I managed to capture a much better image of a member of the same species. I thought I’d feature it today because it just does a much better job of showing this attractive lizard
One aspect of this lizard that my previous photo didn’t depict is its exceptionally long tail. That tail is visible here. The Spotted Whiptail’s tail comprises well over one-half the lizard’s body length. I’m not certain what biological function this tail fulfills. It is so long that it gives the lizard an almost snake-like appearance.
Whiptails, like this one, forage for insects and other invertebrates at ground level. I watched this one hunting for several minutes. It was meticulous in turning over forest litter as it looked for prey. Evidently, it was doing rather well at it, because it puttered around, at times only a couple of feet away from me, ignoring me completely.
At first, I thought that I had photographed a different species, a Giant Spotted Whiptail. Giant Spotted Whiptails are close relatives to the Sonoran Spotted Whiptail and the appearance of the two species is similar. Giant Spotted Whiptails also are found in the precise location where I photographed this lizard. However, after close examination I’m pretty certain that this is a Sonoran Spotted Whiptail. That said, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not good at reptile identification.
Image made with a Canon 5DS-R, 180 mm f3.5L Macro lens, assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, M setting, ISO 160, f16 @ 1/160.