Desert Spiny Lizard

At first glance, this was just another lizard. I wasn’t close enough to it to see the colors, or the beautiful scales. I just took some pictures, zoomed in to see it closer – but still didn’t appreciate what it looked like until I saw it on my computer screen!

The Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister) is 5.6″ from snout to vent and is a stocky lizard with large, pointed, keeled, overlapping scales. They exhibit metachromatism – they change color depending on the temperature, generally with darker colors in cool temperatures.

This lizard can be found in six western states including Arizona. Comments on the internet suggest that the Desert Spiny Lizard lives quite comfortably around humans – so much so that people name the ones that live in their yard.

This one wasn’t in my yard, but if it was, I might call it Norbert, though Spike might work too. What would you name it?