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tesselatus) Special Concern
Photos used with permission of the editorial office of The Herpetologists' League
Identification: Body and tail long and slender;
upper side with small granular scales; belly with larger rectangular scales;
scales along front edge of fold of skin across throat conspicuously
Difficult to distinguish from Triploid Checkered Whiptail. Pale stripes bordering midline of back gray-tan to tan or gold, irregular in outline, interrupted, and/or fused with bars; stripe along middle of back gray-tan to tan (or absent), single and irregular, or doubled or partly doubled; lowermost stripe on side of body gray, irregular, and/or interrupted and fused with spots and/or bars (these stripes may be partly or entirely lost in older individuals); area between two uppermost pale stripes (not counting the stripe along the middle of the back) on each side of upper side with pale spots, either fused lengthwise into a line or transversely expanded into bars; upper surface of thighs with profuse pale spotting and some spots fused; maximum snout-vent length about 10.6 cm (4.2 inches).
Colorado Distribution: Scattered locations in southeastern Colorado. Some populations have declined or been extirpated as a result of habitat destruction, and other populations appear to be less abundant than they were in previous years.
Bottoms, slopes, and escarpments of
rocky canyons, often where grassland or grassy-weedy associations meet open
juniper woodland. This ground-dwelling species hides in burrows or in spaces
under rocks; it may dig its own burrows.
This is an all-female species that
arose through hybridization between other whiptail species. Adults produce 1-2
clutches of eggs between late May and early July. The earliest hatchlings emerge
Note: The scientific name of this lizard was recently changed to Aspidoscelis
tesselata. This is
also known as the Common Checkered Whiptail.
This is also known as the Common Checkered Whiptail.