Wednesday, August 4, 2010

coast horned lizard ~ 08/04/10 ~ Fort Ord



juvenile coast horned lizard
Phrynosoma blainvillii

It was love at first sight! I'm usually not this effusive, but these juvenile horned lizards were so tiny and flat-out cute. As CA Herps states (linked in the scientific name above), the Coast horned lizards have two rows of fringed scales on the sides. Apparently, they can shoot blood from their eyes. I'm glad they didn't do that when I picked them up, because I would have felt awful for handling them. To get the spotted belly picture above, I did the "stroke the throat" trick to make it lay still. With the last picture above, it's easy to see why they are so difficult to find. Before now, I've only ever seen 1 adult male at Pinnacles 5 years ago.

ps 08/07/10 - Janet, a regular commenter on Nature ID with several blogs, has posted one of the pictures above on her tumblr account. I'm glad she let me know.

12 comments:

biobabbler said...

I find these the most amazing creatures. I've seen them VERY few times in the wild. They can be SO tiny yet have such regal carriage, it melts my heart. =) What a treat.

Janet said...

OH! They are soooooo cute!!!!

John W. Wall said...

Good eyes to spot those little camo'd critters!

Bibi said...

I think these horned lizards are so cute. They used to be sold in pet shops and I bought one...when we moved from Pennsylvania to California and drove out, I released it in the desert. I hope they don't sell these anymore.

Thanks for telling me that the bug on my curtain was an antlion!

Janet said...

Kate, just a heads up I'm now on tumblr for ease of posting/reblogging stuff (vs. the actual writing I do on my existing blogs) and I posted a link to this on my blog there
http://zanshinart.tumblr.com/

Nature ID said...

Thanks all for your commiseration of how cute this lizard is. I can see why they were popular in the pet trade and have been banned from commercial collecting for about 30 years now.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Nice find! We have a lot of fence and alligator lizards on the property, but I've never seen one of these little ones here. I'd be thrilled if I did. Looks like we're right on the edge of their range...I'll have to keep my eyes peeled!

Nature ID said...

Curbstone, I noticed during this hike (and didn't realize the significance until I got home and looked it up) several harvester ant mounds within 7 feet of where I found the coast horned lizards. Apparently these lizards prefer feeding on those tiny ants that carry fluffy seeds like flag bearers in a parade. Maybe this info will help you find them on your farm. Good luck!

dreamfalcon said...

beautiful little creatures!

kirstallcreatures said...

Yes they are very cute, well up until the point that I read that they shoot blood out of their eyes! Great stuff, Linda

Dave Stone said...

Very nice pictures! I need to stop by your blog more often!

Nature ID said...

This was a fun post, eh? Thanks everyone for commenting.

Laura, who is Dave Stone? I checked out your blog. Cool! Hope you have a great time in Russia.