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Arizona night lizard


Xantusia vigilis subsp arizonae Klauber, 1931

The Arizona night lizard Xantusia arizonae is a small smooth-skinned gray-brown lizard with dark spots that sometimes form partial lines down the back The lizard has a slightly flattened head The scales of the underside and tail are larger than those of the upper side The lizard grows to a length of 6 to 10 cm23

Despite its name, the Arizona night lizard is primarily active during the day The lizard's range extends across west-central Arizona It is usually found in rock crevices or under plant debris Its diet consists of insects and spiders The young of the lizard are born live, usually one or two around August or September4 As the lizard tends not to move about and generally avoids humans, not much is known about it3

Descriptionedit

The species grows to maximum size of about 10 cm The head is covered with large, smooth plates Body scales are small, while belly scales are rectangular4 The dorsal side is covered with many small dark spots tending to form rows The eyes are large and round with a vertical pupil similar to a snake's eye

The species is a secretive lizard It feeds, reproduces, and lives most of its life in seclusion Populations of night lizards at low elevations become active in the spring and through the summer, while higher elevation populations may not become active until late spring3 Daily activity patterns are difficult to determine due to their secretive behavior Some of the night lizard's predators include larger lizards, many snakes, and birds

Ecologyedit

The Arizona night lizard is found under exfoliating rock in granite outcrops3 The night lizard species occurs primarily in rock-crevice habitat, but also has been found in Neotoma nests and in decaying Yucca baccata The habitat extends from the Arizona Upland Sonoran Desert scrub to the Interior Chaparral

The diet consists primarily of ants, termites, flies, beetles, spiders, among other insects3 It’s predators include larger lizards, birds, and snakes3

Referencesedit

  1. ^ Hammerson, GA 2007 "Xantusia arizonae" IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Version 20112 31 International Union for Conservation of Nature Retrieved December 30, 2011 
  2. ^ Bezy, Robert L "The Night Lizards Xantusia of Arizona" Archived April 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Sonoran Herpetologist Retrieved 30 December 2011
  3. ^ a b c d e f Arizona Game and Fish Department 2003 "Xantusia arizonae" Unpublished abstract compiled and edited by the Heritage Data Management System, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Phoenix, AZ 1-2 pp
  4. ^ a b Brennan, Tom "Arizona Night Lizard Xantusia Arizonae" Reptiles and Amphians of Arizona Retrieved 30 December 2011 


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