SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Friday, June 22, 2007

All-female species of lizard

I photographed this Checkered Whiptail Lizard in Fremont Co. not far from Canon City. Since I am an novice when it comes to lizards (and other herps for that matter) I checked the internet and found that there are two Checkered Whiptail Lizards, the Diploid and the Triploid, that look very much alike. So I checked the Colorado Herpetofaunal website to see if either had been documented in Fremont Co.

I couldn't get the Colo Herp Atlas to work for me (I think it doesn't like the Mozilla Firefox browser I use) I then checked the the Colorado Herpetology Society website. Itshowed that the Triploid Checkered Whiptail had been documented here per a journal article. Since Diploid Checkered Whiptails had not been documented here (and I am certainly not skilled enough to differentiate similar looking species)and only show an "expected range expansion" to Pueblo Co, I think it is likely that the lizard in this pic is a Triploid.

I found it interesting to read on the Colo Herp site that "all-female species that arose through hybridization between other whiptail species." Both that they reproduce without males and that this variation came about through hybridization are both interesting.

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