Sceloporus tristichus Plateau Lizard
Kolob Canyons Viewpoint Trail, Zion National Park, Washington County, UtahAugust 30, 1998
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
This distinctively marked individual was perhaps the only one I saw that was clearly a Plateau Lizard and not a Northern Sagebrush Lizard.
Dead Horse Point State Park, Wayne County, UtahJune 19, 2001
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
These lizards were formely considered to be a subspecies of Eastern Fence Lizard, Sceloporus undulatus elongatus. But they were shown to be a separate species in 2002 in a study accepted by the editors of the SSAR names list.
Oak Creek Canyon, Coconino County, ArizonaAugust 13, 2004
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
These lizards were ubiquitous on the logs and rocks surrounding the high desert oasis of Oak Creek Canyon. The top one had prominent orange highlights; the middle one is a tiny baby; the bottom one is apparently trying to look intimidating by puffing up its body and stretching its legs high.
Horton Creek Trail, Tonto National Forest, Gila County, ArizonaApril 16, 2005
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Here's a particularly fat (gravid?) plateau lizard basking in the late afternoon sun.
Colorado National Monument, Mesa County, ColoradoApril 29, 2006
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Nothing fancy here, just your classic lizard in a classic lizard pose.
Red Rock Canyon, El Paso County, ColoradoMay 8, 2006
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
This extra-chubby plateau lizard is probably a gravid female.
Sand Island, San Juan County, UtahJune 1, 2006
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
This brave lizard was picturesquely posed on a boulder near the parking lot. It let me approach very closely, then would eventually scuttle off. But each time, it only took a few minutes before it was back on that same boulder showing off its buff physique.
Orilla Verde National Recreation Area, Taos County, New MexicoMay 18, 2008
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
We spent just an hour or so one morning at Orilla Verde National Recreation Area on our way from Taos down to Santa Fe, mostly to give our dogs a chance to stretch their legs. The Plateau Lizards and Plateau Whiptails were just starting to wake up and get some morning sun.
Cibola National Forest, Lincoln County, New MexicoMay 20, 2008
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
We stopped for a lunch at a National Forest road not too far from the tiny town of Corona. The two most common sights in the area were cow pies and Plateau Lizards. This young fellow was the prettiest of the Plateau Lizards that I saw.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, Sandoval County, New MexicoMay 16, 2009
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
These lizards, like many Sceloporus, are habitat generalists. They can be found on the ground, on rocks, on logs, etc.
Sugarite State Park, Colfax County, New MexicoMay 17, 2009
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
This was a large dark individual, catching the first warmth of the day.
Moab, Grand County, UtahApril 18, 2016
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
We had been hiking for at least an hour on a cool morning on a beautiful Moab hiking trail without seeing a single lizard. Scenic beauty is great and all, but, I mean, really. I was hoping for a colorful Moab-style collared lizard to break the spell, but had to settle for this young scrawny-looking Plateau Lizard.
Archuleta County, ColoradoJuly 30, 2016
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
I hadn't seen any lizards in several days of hikes in this part of Colorado, so even an extremely common species like this one was enough to bring a smile to my face.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Garfield County, UtahJuly 21, 2017
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
The Plateau Lizards in this area might not be particularly good-looking, but their bland coloration is a good match for the sandstone habitat.
Kanab, Kane County, UtahJuly 28, 2017
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
My wife Monica and I stayed on the grounds of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary for a couple of days so that she could pick some of the Best Friends folks' brains for ideas relevant to the dog rescue organization that she helps run. While there, we took our own dog contingent out for their morning walk on a trail on the grounds of Best Friends, where this lizard head just off the trail caught my eye. Rise and shine, little lizard!
Mill Creek North Fork Trail, Moab, Grand County, UtahMay 23, 2022
Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Like the Plateau Side-blotched Lizards, these Plateau Lizards have evolved a plain coloration that closely matches the rocky surfaces upon which they spend most of their time. It doesn't work quite as well on branches, but whatever.
Printed references: