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Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Lizards Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Fence lizard in appropriate habitat (Zion NP)

General Description: Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) are small lizards (total length to about 6 inches) with fairly coarse scales. The dorsal pattern ranges from longitudinal stripes to broken crossbars, but the dorsal pattern usually is a gray-brown background with broken brown crossbars. The blue throat patch usually is divided into two small spots, one on each side of the throat (in the similar Western Fence Lizards, the patch usually is single).

Taxonomy: Phrynosomatid Lizard Family (Phrynosomatidae). Formerly Northern Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus elongatus) and Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus).

Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Coarse scales and partial bars on back

Technical Description: Small (total length to 6 in.) gray or brown lizards with rough scales, broken brown crossbars, and a “blue belly.” This is one of several species of blue-belly lizards in southern Nevada. Males have a longitudinal patch of blue on each side of the belly and a small blue patch on each side of the throat; females may be marked like males or they may lack the blue.

Diet: Feeds on insects and arthropods.

Habitat: Occurs in a variety of habitats, including Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands and rocky hillsides to 3,000 m (10,000 ft) (Upper Sonoran, Transition, Canadian Life Zones). Often seen along fences or on fence posts.

Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Small blue throat patches and blue belly patches

Range: The species occurs throughout the eastern and central U.S. from Pennsylvania and South Dakota southward into Mexico. This subspecies occurs from north of the Colorado River in Arizona to southern Wyoming, eastern Colorado and the northwest corner of New Mexico.

Breeding:

Similar Species: Other species of lizards in southern Nevada (e.g., Desert Spiny Lizard and Western Fence Lizard) also have blue bellies and blue throat patches, but in this species, the blue on the throat forms two small, distinct patches rather than one large patch. The other subspecies near Las Vegas, the Southern Plateau Lizard, has longitudinal stripes, not broken crossbars on the back.

Comments: These lizards are often called Blue-bellies or Swifts.

Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Small blue throat patches
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Blue patches on sides of belly
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus) more to come ...
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard with stripes; Portal, Arizona
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard with stripes; Portal, Arizona
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard with stripes; Portal, Arizona
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard with stripes; Portal, Arizona
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard with stripes; Portal, Arizona
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard with stripes; Portal, Arizona
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard with stripes; Portal, Arizona
Plateau Fence Lizard (Sceloporus tristichus)
Plateau Fence Lizard with stripes; Portal, Arizona

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120921

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