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Callisaurus draconoides; Western Zebra-tailed Lizard   

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Callisaurus draconoides
Callisaurus draconoides
Western Zebra-tailed Lizard
Photographer: Aaron Schusteff

ID: 0000 0000 0922 0733 (2022-09-15)

Copyright © 2022 Aaron Schusteff

  • date of photo  Apr 2, 2019
  • location   Southern Chemehuevi Valley, west of highway U.S. 95 (San Bernardino County, California, US)
  • family Phrynosomatidae
  • notes   

    ------ Reptile -------

    Always a delight to see this species!

    Here's the Zebra-Tailed Lizard page (photos, videos, text) from the wonderful 'CaliforniaHerps' web site. Based on the range map there and the far southeastern CA location here, this is subspecies Callisaurus draconoides rhodostictus. Another info resource is the taxon page on the 'The Reptile Database'...which has an extensive bibliography.

    Fascinating Fact: These lizards have a 'third eye' on the top of their head! A good image is here. Many lizards and other (non-mammalian) taxa have such a light-sensing organ, it's relatively small and called a 'pineal' or 'parietal' eye...see this Wikipedia page. Two references on the subject are a 1970 journal article & a 1973 book (preview here) by R. M. Eakin, a highly-regarded UC Berkeley biology professor from that time. Web searches will bring up others.

    ------ Plants -------

    Among the variously miniscule members of the desert garden seen in this photo are:

    * the white-flowered composite Eriophyllum lanosum;

    * the lavender-flowered polemone Langloisia setosissima ssp. setosissima;

    * a non-native grass Schismus sp. (S. barbatus has more collection records in the area here than the other CA species, S. arabicus...but see Tom Chester's interesting page on difficulties separating these two species in the desert southwest, and also Richard Felger's discussion on pp. 64-66 here);

    * the annual desert 'plantain' Plantago plant for various lepidoptera;

    * one of the 'desert pincushions' Chaenactis sp. (perhaps C. carphoclinia ?);

    *... and last but not least ...the rather cryptic, diaphanous, and tiny-but-complex-flowered Nemacladus orientalis—of which many millions were present at this point in time & space ;-)

  • photo category: Plant - annual/perennial

  • common names   Western Zebra-tailed Lizard (photographer)
  • Look for Jepson Manual treatments, maps (University & Jepson Herbaria)
  • View Calflora record for Callisaurus draconoides
  • View all photos in CalPhotos of Callisaurus draconoides
  • Check Google Images for Callisaurus draconoides

  • The photographer's identification Callisaurus draconoides has not been reviewed. Click here to review or comment on the identification.

    Using this photo   The thumbnail photo (128x192 pixels) on this page may be freely used for personal or academic purposes without prior permission under the Fair Use provisions of US copyright law as long as the photo is clearly credited with © 2022 Aaron Schusteff. For other uses, or if you have questions, contact Aaron Schusteff arbonius2[AT] (Replace the [AT] with the @ symbol before sending an email.)


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