Desert Spiny Lizard — Fancy Meeting You Here!
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Lately I’ve been taking short walks in our back yard just before sunset with a camera in hand. There are any number of small creatures — reptiles, insects, and other invertebrates — that tend to show up as the sun is going down and I’ve been able to capture images of a few of them.
The other evening I’d made a tour of the yard without success and was about to go back into the house when something caught my eye. I looked up and coming over our back wall was a very large Desert Spiny Lizard. I quickly made a photo before the lizard could react and got this image.
Desert Spiny Lizards are a common species in the Tucson area. They seem to urbanize better than many other species. It’s not unusual to see these lizards strolling across public streets, on sidewalks, and on the exterior walls of homes. They are pretty large as lizards go. This one was about five inches long from its nose to the base of its tail and its tail added about four more inches to its length.
These lizards are often brightly — sometimes, gaudily — colored, and this one is no exception. The lizard’ orange and blue color combination is slightly unusual in my opinion, but certainly not rare. I’ve often seen these lizards sporting orange and blue or even bright yellow and blue. I believe this individual is a male. That patch of brilliant turquoise scales under the lizard’s throat is a trademark of a male Desert Spiny Lizard.
Image made with a Canon 5DS-R, 180 mm f3.5L Macro Lens assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, M setting, ISO 250, f10 @ 1/160.