Today a reptile fancier came for a permanent representation of her very favorite species, the Zebra-tailed Lizard. It required a lot of image searching, drawing and re-drawing, considering the perfect placement....... and now he perches on her shoulder, alert and ready.
The zebra-tailed lizard, Callisaurus draconoides, is common and widely distributed throughout the Mojave, Sonoran and Colorado deserts and its range extends north into the southern Great Basin.
These very fast lizards are easily identified by their black striped "zebra tail." When agitated the lizards wave their very prominent tail, and it is thought that this provides protection. When predators go after a Zebra-Tail they often see the tail, so this is the point of attack. If that is the body part they grab it simply falls off, and the lizard escapes having lost a tail but not its life. You can often get surprisingly close to a Zebra-tailed Lizard. They will stand high on their legs as you approach, sometimes doing a couple of "push-ups" with their front legs. But when you finally are close enough to scare them off, they dash away with in blur. Look for them in sandy washes.