Chordates • Earth.com

Long-nosed leopard lizard

(Gambelia wislizenii)

galery

Description

The long-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia wislizenii) is a species of relatively large North American lizard in the family Crotaphytidae. Gambelia wislizenii ranges in snout-to-vent length (SVL) from 8.3 to 14.6 cm (3+1⁄4 to 5+3⁄4 in). It has a large head, a long nose, and a long round tail that can be longer than its body. It is closely related to the blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia sila), which closely resembles the long-nosed leopard lizard in body proportions, but has a conspicuously blunt snout. The species G. wislizenii, once considered part of the genus Crotaphytus, is under moderate pressure because of habitat destruction but is categorized as "least concern". Gambelia wislizenii has granular dorsal scales that can be white, cream, or gray with irregular brown or dark gray spots along its body and head. Sometimes they have dark bars across their back. The tail also has dark bars across it. Juveniles have more highly contrasted markings compared to adults, often with rusty coloring on the back or bright red spots, and yellow on the thighs and under the tail. The male and female are different in appearance. The female is about 15 cm (5.8 in) snout-vent length, and the male is smaller, measuring about 12 cm (4.8 in) SVL. Both sexes are capable of marked color changes. In its dark phase the lizard's spots are nearly hidden and light crossbars become quite obvious on both the body and the tail. In the light phase the opposite is true with the dominant color consisting of gray, pinkish, brown or yellowish brown hues. During the mating season females develop reddish orange spots and bars on their sides and underneath the tail when gravid. Males develop pink or rusty wash on the throat, chest, and sometimes the body, during the breeding season.

Taxonomic tree:

Domain:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:
Class: Reptilia
Order:Squamata
Family:Crotaphytidae
Genus:Gambelia
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