Holbrookia elegans Elegant Earless Lizard
Subspecies I've seen:
H. e. thermophila
Sonoran Earless Lizard
Holbrookia elegans thermophila Sonoran Earless Lizard
Along Ajo Highway, Pima County, ArizonaMay 3, 2009
Sonoran Earless Lizard (Holbrookia elegans thermophila) Sonoran Earless Lizard (Holbrookia elegans thermophila)
One of our innumerable (well, OK, 5) dogs is Spunky, a 16+ year old completely blind chihuahua mix. Halfway between Why and Tucson, Spunky started getting restless. Sometimes that means she's thirsty, so I tried pouring some water for her -- not interested. Therefore it was time to pull over and let her commune with nature before she decided to commune with the inside of our RV instead. So we stopped in the first large-enough dirt pullout along the road and I hopped out and found a thorn-free area in which to let her attend to her business. While I was waiting, I noticed a lizardy shape perched on a hunk of car tire nearby. This shape turned out to be an Elegant Earless Lizard, a species I had never before seen. So it turns out that even old blind dogs are helpful when herping.
Cochise County, ArizonaMay 9, 2009
Sonoran Earless Lizard (Holbrookia elegans thermophila)
I'm not completely sure whether this is another Elegant Earless Lizard or a Common Lesser Earless Lizard; the two species are extremely similar in appearance and their ranges overlap in this area. (Not everyone even agrees that they are distinct species.) Please let me know if you see any smoking guns in this photo.
Santa Cruz County, ArizonaAugust 18, 2013
Sonoran Earless Lizard (Holbrookia elegans thermophila) Sonoran Earless Lizard (Holbrookia elegans thermophila)
A few of these small but attractive lizards were warming themselves up on the pavement as we took a pit stop from trying (and failing) to find ourselves a Vine Snake.
Huachuca Mountains, Cochise County, ArizonaAugust 4, 2014
Sonoran Earless Lizard (Holbrookia elegans thermophila)
I took this photo of a wary earless lizard from inside my car, because these guys wouldn't let me approach anywhere near on foot.
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