Phrynosoma cerroense — Cedros Island Horned Lizard
Also known as:
Baja Horned Lizard, Viscaino Horned Lizard
This species was included in Phrynosoma coronatum until that species was split into three by Leaché et al in 2009. The type specimen for P. cerroense is on Cedros Island, off of the Pacific Coast of Baja California; hence, the name "Cedros Island Horned Lizard", even though this species ranges through a large portion of central Baja California.
The road between Mike's Sky Rancho and Rancho el Coyote was a dashed line on our map. This was one step below "unimproved". Calling it a road is something of an exaggeration; the legend on the map used something like "track or trail" instead. Fortunately, a helpful worker at Mike's Sky Rancho told us that Rancho el Coyote was only two miles away. Unfortunately, he was off by a factor of eight or so. This "two mile road" took us three or four hours, and we were grateful that we got through at all. But it was on this road that we saw our first four or five Phrynosoma cerroense, so it was all worth it. (Matt, right? Lorrie, right?) We only stopped the FJ Cruiser for two of them, in a tradeoff of horned lizard pictures vs. likely survival. But those were two of the finest horned lizards I've ever seen.
I spotted this little guy in the middle of a red dirt road just at the instant our FJ Cruiser passed over it. Fortunately it was still posed grumpily at the same spot in the middle of the road after we stopped the vehicle and ran back to look for it.
- Grismer, L. L. 2002. Amphibians and Reptiles of Baja California Including its Pacific Islands and the Islands in the Sea of Cortés
- McPeak, R. H. 2000. Amphibians and Reptiles of Baja California