Aspidoscelis xanthonota Red-backed Whiptail
Until recently, this whiptail was considered a subspecies of the Canyon Spotted Whiptail. Also, this species was placed in the genus Cnemidophorus, so many reference books still use that name.
Alamo Canyon, Organ Pipe National Monument, Pima County, ArizonaMay 27, 2001
Red-backed Whiptail (Aspidoscelis xanthonota)
This attractive whiptail has a very limited range in the United States -- just a few small areas in south-central Arizona -- so I was very happy to run across one. (I saw one more the next day.)
Alamo Canyon, Organ Pipe National Monument, Pima County, ArizonaAugust 3, 2014
Red-backed Whiptail (Aspidoscelis xanthonota)
This is a distinctive, good-looking whiptail species, with only a small range in the U.S., and I had previously only seen this species on one trip. Normally that would be enough for me to spend some significant time trying to get a good photo. But on this day, I had my sights set on a different quarry, the Sonoran Collared Lizard, so this foraging whiptail got short shrift. Short shrift, I say!
Printed references: