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?

21 thoughts on “Desert Spiny Lizard

    1. Berto – so is that someone who looks like Bert and speaks Spanish?
      Cheech and Chong are doing a Canadian tour in the fall and will be in our area in October. Amazing how pricey tickets can be these days! I remember the good old days when…


    2. Berto is from their story of Santa Claus (time mark: 3:21) when they call out the names of the reindeer.

      As for the prices, the weird thing is that most things are cheaper now than they were (relative to what we made back then).

      Concerts, however, are not and that’s in part because artists (the lucky ones who can draw crowds) don’t make as much money from royalties as they used to thanks to various music services, YouTube, and just plain people not respecting copyrights (something plaguing photographers and writers, as well).

      So, especially for older groups and singers, the only way to make money is to do concerts.

      Now, add the reality of automated ticket buying (bots) and scalpers jumping in and buying up tickets (for resale) much faster than the average person and you have the recipe for escalation of prices.

      The question — to my mind — has always been “what’s the reason to see people in person?” This comes into play with tiers; a ticket up close will cost you much more than one far away. But, of the few concerts I have attended (back in the old days), always the sound is better from my headphones than at a live event. Plus, Live performances are usually available on YouTube (with better acoustics). Plus, I don’t have to fight crowds and get irritated from close proximity with others.

      Humans are a peculiar lot when it comes to explaining their behavior.


      1. That explains what I found about the tickets. The Theatre link was to Ticketmaster whose highest price for front of the house was in the $400 range. Another site had tickets in the same part of the theatre for over $600.


  1. That’s one classy lookin’ lizard. Oops, that reminds me, time to pay my auto insurance. I save over 15% you know.


    1. If it wasn’t for the Geico Gecko, I wouldn’t look so favorably at lizards…
      15% you say… Hmmm


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