Sunday, March 7, 2010

Coast Range fence lizard with a tick
Sceloporus occidentalis bocourtii

This fellow was pretty content sunning himself on a bridge and didn't seem to mind me taking pictures so close. Since I've added so many posts recently, I'm starting to get lazy and not actually look things up for scientific name and links to info sites. It's probably a run of the mill western fence lizard, but I have such a hard time identifying them.

ps 05/04/10 - Thanks to a series of blog comments, I started looking into my lizard IDs. What confused me before was trying to ID for Mariposa and San Benito Counties where there are other species, and I tend to make things harder than they need to be. I'm fairly confident about this ID, a subspecies of the western fence lizard.

So, what got me looking into this, was John Wall's tick post. He provided a link to one of his pics of a lizard with ticks on it! Way cool! I reveiwed my lizard pictures and wouldn't you know it, I think the one above has a tick, too! Thanks to my handy dandy new iMac, I can zoom in on the picture. Or is that just some odd lizard anatomy where an ear should be? I had a hard time finding any solid information on lizard ears. Everything is so generalized that the information really isn't information at all. I did find this odd site Absolute Astronomy that actually said the ticks like to feed near the lizard ears. One last note, apparently when ticks feed on lizards, the Lyme disease bacteria dies. Why?


Matthew said...

Nice! Unfortunately, the only lizards we have in NYC are imported Italian fence lizards, thought until recently to only be out on Long Island; but last year a couple were photographed being fed to baby kestrels in the city.

Nature ID said...

Really? I figured NYC, would have at least a couple species of native lizards. So, pizza wasn't the only thing imported from Italy?