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.
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.)
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!
- 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
- 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