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Whiptail Lizard

Natural History

Whiptail lizards are long slender lizards with pointed snouts and long tails. They are generally tan, brown or olive in color and may have lighter stripes or spots of yellow or white.
Whiptails are found throughout the Sonoran Desert region from sea level up to 8000 ft. They inhabit low desert scrub, as well as grasslands, woodlands and pine forests. They are often found under rocks or in leaf litter. Whiptails eat a variety of insects and occasionally smaller lizards. 

The bobbing push ups performed by whiptails is an aggressive territorial display (fearsome eh?).

Most species reproduce sexually and lay 1 or more clutches of 1-6 eggs in late spring or early summer. In Arizona, however, approximately 60% of of whiptail species reproduce asexually. These species consist entirely of genetically identical females that lay unfertilized eggs. Eggs typically take 60-75 days to hatch. Walking through the desert you are bound to see many whiptails as you hike, sometimes startling them with each footstep.

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