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Side-blotched Lizard

Uta stansburiana

Uta stansburiana photo © by Michael Plagens

Photo taken at McDowell Mountain Park, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA. Dec 1, 2002.

Uta stansburiana photo © by Michael Plagens

This Side-blotched Lizard is using the ribs of a long-dead saguaro cactus as a haven against its sharp-eyed predators and the intense sunshine. Rainbow Valley, Maricopa Co., AZ. Sept. 2009.

This is among the few reptiles likely to be active during the winter months in the Sonoran Desert. They emerge from their underground hideouts when the sun is warm. Note the dark splotch just behind the first pair of legs and the just barely visible blue-green coloration under the chin. Side-blotched Lizard is very common across the Sonoran Desert.

Phrynosomatidae -- North American Spiny Lizard Family

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Sonoran Desert Field Guide
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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 6 Nov. 2007
updated 8 Oct. 2009.