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Great Basin Collared Lizard by Richard Bartlett on 2020-08-24 00:21:00


Finally! Jake immortalizing the collared lizard

Throughout this trip we had hip-hopped into and out of Arizona and we were now aiming for it again.

One of the lizard species that Jake wanted badly to see was the Great Basin Collared Lizard, Crotaphytus bicinctores. On earlier trips I had found these rock lovers common but on this trip they had proven nonexistent. We drove to many out-of-the-way locales and failed to see this pretty lizard, even where other observers had reported them only a few days earlier. Jake’s estimate is that we scanned 10,000 rocks to no avail. My estimate of the rocks scanned is about twice greater than Jake’s.

But finally, almost at the edge of the species’ range, Jake hollered” “STOP! I think I just saw one. Back up.” I followed his instructions and sure enough, sitting on the largest rock in an extensive pile was one lone Great Basin Collared Lizard. Another lifer for Jake. Fortunately the lizard seemed unconcerned by our presence and allowed us to take dozens of pix at close range.

The Grand Canyon was still closed due to the Covid-19 scare, so we traveled far into the Navajo Nation to try our luck, again for the Great Basin Collared Lizard as well as in hopes of other species. Even though another cold front had arrived we were fortunate enough to see a Great Basin Gopher Snake, another Lyre Snake, and a very pretty Night snake.

We were down to just one last night in the Sonoran Desert. Despite the seasonal chill we elected to try our luck for burrowing snakes in southeastern Arizona.
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