Scared of Scorpions – Sorry!
Desert Spiny Lizard
The scorpion wriggled in the green net, striking repeatedly with his arching tail. Saving his life suddenly seemed exceptionally noble and I hustled across the patio nervous that he would drop on my bare feet. If I raised my arm to hoist him over the wall mightn’t he drop down my shirt? I took a quick turn towards a raised cement block on the ground by the ping pong table. Glancing up to where I would grasp the wall, I about fainted. A large scaly lizard was draped in a sassy s shape, his head facing down. His head cocked to one side and he stared balefully at me, the intruder. Quickly dropping the scorpion over the wall, I went for my camera and field guides. He is Sceloporus magister or desert spiny lizard and is helping keep our insects under control. He eats ants, beetles, spiders and sometimes smaller lizards and plant material. He can grow to be 6 or 7 inches long and I guess that was the part that startled me most. We have come to expect our visiting critters to be under a certain size, and non-venomous, don’t you think? The following image was taken by Jerry Schudda of the Tucson Herpetelogical Society.
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