Lizards and Snakes of Las Cruces, New Mexico

Those who have been reading my blog for a while realize that I have a strong personal connection to nature. I am interested in other living things as well as a few that are not quite alive such as rocks. If I had it to do all over again, I would collect rocks. I have a few, but not many. Let me not digress.

As we hike along, I collect (via photographs) a record of the various species of insects, reptiles, birds, plants, etc. that we encounter. Some are new to me and some are found in unanticipated circumstances.

In our spring trip to Las Cruces, NM we encountered several interesting lizards and one snake. By way of sharing my interest in photographing these animals and the joy in the abundance and variety of nature, I am including several pictures below.

Many thanks to the Arizona Herpetological Association – AHA for their warm hospitality and support in helping me identify these specimens. I recommend their website and organization to anyone who is interested in southwest herpitology.*

 
Lets start with a popular lizard of which we saw many…

The Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis exsanguis)

The Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis exsanguis)

This fellow was particularly interesting because of his “racing stripes” along his side. Adidas and Nike have nothing on him.

Greater Earless Male

Greater Earless Male (Holbrookia elegans)

This female appeared to be obviously pregnant.

Greater Earless Female

Greater Earless Female (Holbrookia elegans)

At quick glance, this looks like a pretty ho-hum specimen sitting on an ordinary rock, but…

Ornate Tree Lizard

Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)

Look at that turquoise-like coloring under his chin and belly!

Ornate Tree Lizard

Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)

And let’s not forget a fellow we included in his own post here,

Eastern Collared Lizard

Eastern Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris)

The only snake we encountered was an adventurous, long and thin Patch-nosed Snake.

Patch-nosed Snake

Patch-nosed Snake (Salvadora hexalepis)

The markings on this specimen were quite nice; two colors of brown, one tan and one near chocolate in shade.

Patch-nosed Snake

Patch-nosed Snake (Salvadora hexalepis) – close up

 
*If I have misidentified any of the reptiles in this post, please let me know and I will make the appropriate corrections.

.JBRish.com originally published this post

3 thoughts on “Lizards and Snakes of Las Cruces, New Mexico

  • October 31, 2019 at 5:59 am
    Permalink

    Very gorgeous lizards.
    I would love to see one of those collards in the wild.
    I have heard in New Mexico there are “aqua dwarf” collards which are larger and a blue or turquoise color.

    Reply
    • October 31, 2019 at 3:35 pm
      Permalink

      I don’t know anything about the “aqua dwarf” lizards. All I can say is that the lizard photographed was large and at first I thought it might be dead. It had no fear and I was able to get within four inches of it without it scampering away. I am fairly sure I could have touched it, but 1) I didn’t want to scare the animal and 2) that wouldn’t really be a cool thing to do to a wild animal. It is one of the prettiest lizards I have seen and I have seen quite a few.

      Reply

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