Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Plateau Lizard

A pair of Plateau Lizards on the side of a B&B in Paradox Valley

It is not everyday that you can bust in on a couple of Plateau Lizards in flagrante delicti. I don't think they were too happy about my Paparazza voyeurism but they were too self-absorbed to break off their assignation to scurry under a rock.

The Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) is diurnal, spending most of its time basking in the sun. It consumes large amounts of insects and spiders. After mating in the spring the female will lay up to 12 eggs in early summer. The young hatch in the fall.

I have seen these lizards called the Eastern Fence (subsp), Prairie, or Plateau Lizard. To the untrained eye, they all look very similar. Growing up in California, we had the Western Fence Lizard, which was know locally as "blue bellies".

Am I being anthropomorphic, but does the female have a bit of a gazed look in her eye, or is it just resignation?

The blue scales underneath the male's belly and near its throat are undoubtedly attractive to the opposite sex. When courting, these lizards will lift up on their legs to flash their blue scales. As with most species the girls like their boys flashy.

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