Physical Setting
Climate
Adaptations
Tucson Plants
Tucson Animals
External Resources
Physical Setting
Climate
Adaptations
Tucson Plants
Tucson Animals
External Resources
AnimalsVenomous AnimalsArthropodsFishAmphibiansReptilesBirdsMammals
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Collared Lizards (Crotaphytus spp)
collared lizardDESCRIPTION: L=10-12" (25-30cm) including tail. Overall background color varies, including yellowish, greenish, bluish, olive, or brown. Body and tail covered with spots. Has two dark collars behind massive head with large jaw muscles. Scales are very fine, giving smooth appearance (in contrast to Spiny Lizards that have keeled scales). Females, when pregnant, often have bright red or orangish spots and bars on the sides of their neck and body. Adult males tend to be greener than females, who are only slightly green.
NATURAL HISTORY: Carnivorous, feeding mainly on insects (especially grasshoppers) and lizards (including other collared lizards). Fast runners, they may even run on just their hind two legs, with their body held at a 45 degree angle. Lays eggs. Males are territorial and often may be seen doing head-bobs and "push-ups" (see below).

WHY DO LIZARDS DO "PUSH-UPS"?

Lizards use various displays, including "push-ups" (see short movie),head-bobs, dewlap displays, body inflation, and gaping, to signal dominance or courtship. Some signals are only for members of the same species, while the same or other signals are used on other species. Using these species-specific, ritualistic signals reduces the need for outright combat and helps individuals recognize other members of their own species for mating.


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