Western Whiptail
Tiger Whiptail

Cnemidophorus tigris
(Aspidoscelis tigris)

Cnemidophorus tigris photo © by Michael Plagens

This Tiger Whiptail was observed at Mesquite Wash, Mazatzal Mts., Maricopa Co., Arizona. 4 Aug. 2013.

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Sleek lizards with mottled or blurred-spotty pattern on flanks and back. The snout is pointed and the tail very long. Stripes along dorsum are normally faint. These lizards see well and react to approaching dangers, real or not, by scurrying around and under shrubs.

In the Rainbow Valley southwest of Phoenix I observed a Western Whiptail consume a number of worker Desert Harvester Ant (Messor pergandei). These ants are capable of stinging and likely have a large percentage of indigestible chitin.

Teiidae -- Whiptail Lizard Family

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 30 March 2009,
updated 5 July 2014