Urosaurus graciosus — Long-tailed Brush Lizard
Subspecies I've seen:
U. g. graciosus
Western Long-tailed Brush Lizard
Urosaurus graciosus graciosus — Western Long-tailed Brush Lizard
The lizard pictured here got the "long-tailed" part of its name right, but disagreed with the "brush" part. Its companion was a few feet away on the same metal cable. We also saw a pair sharing a wooden post. We saw none in the bushes, where they are said to reside. That's probably because they have great camouflage flattened out against a long thin branch, and they tend not to move until you get very close.
We arrived in Borrego Springs as the shadows were growing long late on a hot spring day. Near our RV campsite I spotted a small lizard basking on a boulder. From a distance it didn't look like the right shape to be one of the ubiquitous side-blotched lizards, so I snuck up for a closer look and discovered this statuesque brush lizard. It let me approach to within a couple of feet without shifting its position on the pleasantly warm rock. After taking a few photos, I snuck away again, leaving the lizard looking just as contented as when I first saw it.
- Behler, J. L., King, F. W. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding. SSAR Herpetological Circular 39:1-92.
- Miller, A. H., Stebbins, R. C. 1973. The Lives of Desert Animals in Joshua Tree National Monument
- Monday, D.C., Dobolek, R. 1999. Arizona Wildlife Views, Special Edition
- Rogner, M. 1997. Lizards
- Schoenherr, A. A. 1992. A Natural History of California
- Smith, H. M. 1995. Handbook of Lizards: Lizards of the United States and Canada
- 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