Arizona Rattlesnakes

Arizona Rattlesnakes
Jan
28th
2011

Big Black Lizards

I see them all the time, but realized this year that I really have almost no photographs of our big desert Chuckwallas, Sauromalus ater. They’re big, relatively colorful (in some places) lizards that you can pretty much see anywhere one would hike in the Sonoran desert. Just look up to the rocky outcroppings and they’ll be standing watch or diving into crevices as you come by. I know that any hike in South Mountain Preserve in Phoenix should yield quite a few sightings without any work at all.

Here’s a big boy caught by my friend Diego in the Maricopa mountains. That guy can catch some lizards. He also nabbed a baby collared lizard that day, and that’s not easy.

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4 Responses to “Big Black Lizards”

  1. rebecca says:

    Is it true that only the ones that live in South Mountain park have bright orange tales? Someone told me that once and I’ve never verified it.

  2. Bryan says:

    Yup, that is quite true. There are other chucks with colorful tails, but the high contrast “carrot tail” chucks are only found on South Mountain, and are pretty easy to see in the late afternoon.

  3. Jill says:

    he’s hefty! Great shots. I’ve only seen a couple of these guys, and it’s been way too long! I’m a little sad about the baby collared lizard (one of my favorites), but damn! How big was this one?

  4. Bryan says:

    Well don’t worry about the baby collared lizard, because I was talking about my friend Diego who caught him, not the chuck! We took photos of him and released him back into the rocks, where he’s certainly freezing his butt off right now.

    That chuck was a decent sized adult … maybe 12-14″ long.

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