Winter reptiles

As it is now wintertime, most resident reptiles are hibernating here in LV/ES. On warm sunny days, however, you may get a glimpse of a few soaking up the warmth. Today I will go over some of the winter-active reptiles in the area.

In my experience, the most common lizard throughout the year is probably the Orange-throated Whiptail (Aspidoscelis hyperythrus). These beautiful little speed demons are some of my favorite lizards. If you watch them for long enough, you will probably see them stop moving in a sunny patch of dirt, dig for a minute and then splay their little legs. If a lizard has a blue tail, it is probably an Orange-throated Whiptail. As with many lizards, only the young ones will be common this time of year..

Another winter friend is the Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides), little brown lizards that live in sandy soils all around La Ventana, including on the beach! They like to wiggle their tails around, displaying the black and white bottoms. 

You also may see iguanas, geckos and the occasional spiny lizard, but the only other really prominent winter lizards are the Black-tailed Brush Lizards (Urosaurus nigricauda). These little gray lizards like to hang out on trees, bushes and rocks. They are quite camouflaged, but can be found pretty easily.

As for the snakes, most are hibernating, but I have heard stories of people finding all kinds of snakes in the winter here. The most common seem to include Cape Gopher Snakes, which are large, beautiful and harmless, as well as night snakes and sand snakes.  

I hope this new format is enjoyable, as I am running out of new reptiles about which to write.