Three Little Lizards
Kodachrome Basin State Park
Oct. 2002


In mid-October, over at Cedar Breaks (10,000 feet over sea level), there was snow on the ground; at Bryce Canyon (8000 feet over sea level), leaves had been swept from the trees and it had been snowing the previous week; but at Kodachrome Basin (6000 feet over sea level), it was hot under the sun and the lizards were scampering everywhere.

Of course, what else does one do with a lizard except try to photograph it?

Of the following three little fellows (each varying from 4 to 6 inches long), only the first was a cooperative model. I thought he would be easy to ID, because I got several good shots of him while he strolled across some sand and climbed into a bush, in between doing pushups and various other displays to indicate he wasn't particularly bothered by humans on the trail.

Note of July 2003:The first and third are northern plateau lizards, whereas the middle guy is a side-blotched lizard (the blotch isn't present in a girl).

I've kept the images on this page small, but click on any image to bring up a much more detailed photo of that lizard.
Northern plateau lizard
The blue patch is a prime identifying mark for these, except when one goes through the National Audubon field guide and sees blue patches turning up for just about anything. (The northern plateau lizard is a subspecies of the eastern fence lizard Sceloporus undulatus.)

Whereas I had hoped the scale pattern of the first lizard would make identification easy, the second fellow doesn't have any such pattern (but enough of a pattern to identify him as a side-blotched lizard).
Side-blotched lizard
The third lizard is the same as the first (i.e., both nothern plateau lizards), complete with blue patches.
A northern plateau lizard
Photography note: The photos were taken with a Pentax LX and the Voigtlander 125mm macro lens.  

Lizards of Capitol Reef National Park

Bryce by moonlight   |   Lightning by Bryce   |   Fairyland Castle

Brycian trees   |   chipmunk   |   Bryce Point

Zion National Park   |   Petrified Forest National Park

Dinosaur National Monument   |   Contact

Look Out!