Longnosed leopard lizard

Gambelia wislizenii

SUBFAMILY

Crotaphytinae

TAXONOMY

Gambelia wislizenii Baird and Girard, 1852, Sante Fe, New Mexico. Four subspecies are recognized.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Leopard lizard, small-spotted lizard, Cope's lizard, Lahontan Basin lizard, pale leopard lizard; French: Lézard léopard; German: Leopardleguan; Spanish: Cachora leopardo.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Long-nosed leopard lizards have dark-gray to black spots covering a light-gray to olive-gray back and tail. The coloration varies between individuals, and depending on temperature, even in the same lizard. These lizards frequently sport a series of white bands on the back and tail, and females often develop orange splotches along the sides during breeding season. Adults can reach 17 in (43 cm), including a long tail that makes up slightly more than two-thirds of the total length.

DISTRIBUTION

Long-nosed leopard lizards occur from the west-central United States to north-central Mexico.

HABITAT

These lizards live in flat desert areas with little vegetation.

BEHAVIOR

To escape predators, long-nose leopard lizards will either race (often on two feet) into burrows or dash to the cover of low-

lying vegetation. Cornered or captured lizards become aggressive and will bite their attacker.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

The long-nosed leopard lizard is a diurnal species that stalks its meals of insects and spiders, frequently lunging airborne after a tasty arthropod. It will also eat other lizards, including those of its own species.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The breeding season of the long-nosed leopard lizard runs through May. In July, a female will lay about two to four eggs, although clutches of nearly a dozen are possible. Individuals in warmer climates may lay a second clutch. The eggs hatch within one to two months.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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