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Side-blotched lizard        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) are small, attractive animals found throughout much of the western US.   As their name implies, they have a dark spot (barely visible here) in the 'armpit' behind the front legs.   Side-blotched lizards are slightly sexually dimorphic, and males (which are somewhat larger and more colorful than females) apparently occur in several genetically-determined color morphs (primarily of throat color: blue, orange, yellow) that show different levels of territorial behavior and aggression.   In some places, the frequencies of the different male morphs cycle from year to year.   These were in the Box Springs Mountains near Riverside, CA.

  • Canon 10D or 1D4, 500 mm f4 IS lens + 2X converter and extension tube or 800 mm IS lens + 1.4X converter and extension tube, fill-in flash (2004, 2014)