Weekly Nature Question #3: What Species of Lizard Is This?

My Weekly Nature Question is about my asking for help from the blogosphere (and other internet users) to learn about species living in Angeles Forest and to share that learning with others.  I’m really hoping that this turns out to be a viable and meaningful way to share knowledge.

The answer to last week’s tree question turned out to be a Limber Pine.  More information on this tree is now on it’s page in the Forest Life section of this blog and will be updated as new information is shared.

I’d like to extend thanks to:

Dave Bucholtz for being the first to correctly identify the species and to blogger Scott Turner of the blog 1000 miles for confirming the identification, providing a nice description and link to a photo.  As a side note, I assume Scott’s post with a link made it past the spam filter because he’s posted here before.  So, if you have a link to share and it doesn’t show up in the comments, please assume it went into spam and send me the link through my contact page.  I also want to say thanks to blogger Henry Mowry of the blog Mowry Journal for checking with his naturalist to confirm the identification and to everyone else who commented on this question.  Knowing what to look for led me to a page on the Encyclopedia of Life that also identified the Wally Waldron Tree as a Limber Pine.

This week nobody sent me any links to blog articles and I was unable to find any through the search feature in the WordPress reader.

This Week’s Question:  What species of lizard is this?  I’ve only seen this species of lizard one time in close to 1,600 miles of hiking in Angeles Forest.

November 2011

November 2011

Above photo taken from the South Fork Trail

November 2011

November 2011

Above photo taken from the South Fork Trail

November 2011

November 2011

Above photo taken from the South Fork Trail

9 thoughts on “Weekly Nature Question #3: What Species of Lizard Is This?

  1. According to “my naturalist” — my son, who works for LA County Parks, in the Natural Areas department, agrees this is a nicely colored Great Basin Collared Lizard. He also states it’s well within its natural range on the South Fork Trail. We saw one of these last year in the Antelope Valley’s Gerhardy Wildife Sanctuary, though I didn’t get a nice picture like you did! Love what you’re doing with this blog!

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    • Thanks for checking in with your naturalist son. I was wondering if this was a released pet. It’s very helpful to know that my sighting was within its natural range of habitation. I appreciate your help in my efforts here! Nice to know you like what I’m doing.

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  2. What a beauty! That’s a Collared Lizard (A “Great Basin Collared Lizard” to be more exact), of course. I’m wondering if it is indigenous, or if someone released their pet. This lizard is more commonly found in deserts and likes temperatures toppling 100 F. They can run on their hind legs. I just researched it and they don’t appear to exist in Angeles. Was it exceptionally hot on that day? I really do wonder if this was a released animal.

    http://www.californiaherps.com/lizards/pages/c.bicinctores.html

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    • Actually it was in the 60’s or low 70’s max. I took this picture the same day I took the picture with snow and pine cones shown in this week’s gallery photos. Granted, I was about 1,000 feet lower in elevation away from the snow when I saw the lizard. Thanks for identifying Great Basin over Baja California. I was impressed to read that they sometimes eat snakes.

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