Aspidoscelis sonorae — Sonoran Spotted Whiptail
This whiptail was working hard at devouring some sort of insect, but still managed to pay enough attention to me to avoid letting me get a good shot of it.
Aspidoscelis sonorae is one of the unisexual whiptail species.
This species was placed in the genus Cnemidophorus until recently, so most reference books still use that name.
I'm not completely certain which species of whiptail this is. Adult Aspidoscelis sonorae have spots visible between the stripes, but the spots are typically not apparent in juveniles. This one was probably a juvenile, based on its relatively small size. But another similar-looking species of whiptail, Aspidoscelis uniparens, also lives in Madera Canyon. A. uniparens typically has some bluish or greenish color in the tail, which I'm not seeing here. Also, the hillside woodland habitat in which this gal was scurrying is a better match for A. sonorae; A. uniparens is typically found in more open areas. Both of these whiptail species are all-female (parthenogenetic), so I can be confident calling this lizard a gal.
- Behler, J. L., King, F. W. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians
- Brennan, T. C. and Holycross, A. T. 2006. A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in Arizona
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2017. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, Eighth Edition
- Degenhardt, W. G., Painter, C. W., Price, A. H. 1996. Amphibians & Reptiles of New Mexico
- Smith, H. M., Brodie, E. D. Jr. 1982. Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification
- Stebbins, R. C. 2003. Peterson Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition