Saturday, May 19, 2012

Backyard Resident

This little guy divides his time between hiding under my Lantana and Nandina spp. bushes, and then racing through the chain link fence as soon as one of the dogs spies him and tries to chase him down. I appreciate him giving Mr. Big a little bit of a cardio workout every now and then. He is a desert spiny lizard, Sceloporus magister.

These guys do the head-bobbing, push-up behavior that is probably very intimidating if you are only 2 mm tall, but this afternoon, he was just lying still as a statue, hoping that one of the big, slobbery dogs wouldn't notice him. They didn't. But the big, scary human did, and shooed the dogs inside 'til he decided to retreat to the safety of the fenced area.


  1. Oh, he's gorgeous! He looks really prehistoric, with all those spikes. Sorta like a cross between a stegosaurus and a dragon. They're not poisonous, are they?

  2. Oh, no, not dangerous at all. They eat bugs and spiders and plants. He's a weird mix of the two subspecies: the southern subspecies has the purple/blue back, which he has, and the northern subspecies has the yellow head, which he has. Maybe my backyard is a vortex? I've read they will bite if handled, but I have no planes to do that. Live and let live, eh?

    Hmm, I wonder why blogger put me down as a follower of my own blog last night, after I posted that photo? I'm not that narcissistic, really!