Baja California Spiny Lizard

The Baja California Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus zosteromus) is a fast, cautious and semi-large reptile widespread across Baja California Sur. These interesting spiny lizards are closely related to the very common Western Fence Lizards that I have been catching for many years in my hometown of Bend, Oregon. 

Baja California Spiny Lizards are some of the larger members of the Spiny Lizard family and, in my experience, some of the hardest to catch, as they never stray too far from cover. As diurnal reptiles, they spend the day out and about and the night sleeping (like me) compared to geckos, which are just waking up at sunset (like my brother). 

Baja California Spiny Lizards are most prominent in the summer, spring and fall. However, they are sometimes out in the winter on warm days, especially young lizards like the one in the photo. 

Although the diet of these specific lizards is relatively unknown, I have witnessed a large adult hanging around a cow patty and gorging on the attracted flies, and another individual with a beetle in its mouth. The most common place to see these lizards is typically sunning on rocks or brush in the morning before the heat of the day or just foraging in their habitat, which is shrubby flats to rocky hills.