Thursday, May 29, 2014

Red Car Canyon: Fence Lizard With A Forked Tail

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 27, 2014.  Not only does this Western Fence Lizard  camouflage with the lichen on the concrete block in Red Car Canyon, he also has a forked tail.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

I wondered if the lizard had a run in with a predator so I asked Gary Nafis at California Herps about the unusual tail.  He responded, "The long part is the full tail because it has normal scales and pattern and the small part is regenerated, because it has no large scales. Maybe there was an injury to the tail that did not sever it but which triggered new growth from the point of injury. That's my best guess."

Learn more about identifying lizards: California Herps