Common Chuckwalla

Sauromalus ater
(Sauromalus obesus)

Sauromalus ater photo © by Michael Plagens

Photo by Mike Plagens on Mother's Day 2006 at North Mountain, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Notice that there is a small dipteran (fly) alighted on the back of the lizard. If you want to see a larger image and hazard a guess as to the fly's identify and biology, Click Here.

This specimen was found crawling on a stuccoed wall near Carefree, Arizona.

This large lizard is a vegetarian and rarely ventures far from rock crevices where it can wedge itself in to escape predators. In the Sonoran Desert the best place to see them is in low rocky mountains where there are plenty of boulders and crevices. The best time is mornings during the spring when they climb out upon the boulders to sit in the sun. They are common at South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona. When green vegetation is scarce, for example after extended drought, they remain inactive deep in the crevices most of the time.

Iguanidae -- Iguana Family

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Gee, even baby lizards are cute! This juvenile was eager to get warm sunshine on a cool, breezy spring day at South Mountains, Phoenix, Arizona on 14 March 2009.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 6 Nov. 2007,
updated 17 March 2009.