1- Callisaurus :
Zebra-tailed lizards (Callisaurus) are a genus of phrynosomatid lizards endemic to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.
Scientific classification :
A zebra-tailed lizard
They live in open desert with fairly hard-packed soil, scattered vegetation and scattered rocks, typically flats, washes and plains.
They range in size from 2.5 to 4 inches (64 to 102 mm) in snout-to-vent length. These lizards are grey to sandy brown, usually with series of paired dark gray spots down their backs, becoming black bands on the tails. The underside of tail is white with black bands. Males have a pair of black blotches on their sides, extending to blue patches on their bellies. Females have no blue patches, and the black bars are either faint or completely absent.
They are diurnal and alert. They rise early and are active in all but the hottest weather. During the hottest times of day, lizards may stand alternately on two legs, switching to the opposite two as needed in a kind of dance. When threatened they will run swiftly with their toes curled up and tails raised over their backs exposing the stripes. When stopped, they wag their curled tails side-to-side to distract predators. They can even run on their hind legs for short distances. In areas of creosote scrub this lizard seems to reach highest densities, around 4.8 to 6.0 individuals per acre (600 to 800 m² per lizard). This lizard burrows into fine sand for retreat at night and usually seeks day shelter in the shade of bushes. They are also known to burrow under sand for safety when being chased by predators.
In summer, 2 to 8 eggs are typically laid, hatching anywhere from July to November. However, more than 1 clutch can be laid during a season. Eggs are laid, presumably, in friable, sandy soil. Being a prey species for many animals, including birds, other lizards, and mammals, they have a fairly high reproductive rate.
It feeds on a variety of prey from insects, such as moths, ants and bees, as well as spiders and other smaller lizards. Its diet occasionally includes vegetation, such as spring buds and flowers.
Geographic range :
The zebra-tailed lizard is common and widely distributed throughout the southwestern United States, ranging from the Mojave and Coloradodeserts north into the southern Great Basin.
The genus Callisaurus is monotypic, containing only one species, Callisaurus draconoides. The numerous subspecies are:
Bogert's zebra-tailed lizard, C. d. bogerti Martin del Campo, 1943
Short-footed zebra-tailed lizard, C. d. brevipes Bogert & Dorson, 1942
Carmen Island zebra-tailed lizard, C. d. carmenensis Dickerson, 1919
Viscaino zebra-tailed lizard, C. d. crinitus Cope, 1896
common zebra-tailed lizard, C. d. draconoides Blainville, 1835
Sonoran zebra-tailed lizard, C. d. inusitanus Dickerson, 1919
Nevada zebra-tailed lizard, C. d. myurus Richardson, 1915
Mojave zebra-tailed lizard, C. d. rhodostictus Cope, 1896
Angel Island zebra-tailed lizard, C. d. splendidus Dickerson, 1919
eastern zebra-tailed lizard, C. d. ventralis (Hallowell, 1852)
Callisaurus draconoides: Dorsal (top) and ventral (bottom) views
For the external links , refrences click here to read the full wikipedia article
Zebra Tailed Lizard - Callisaurus draconoides :
Zebra Tailed Lizard Care Sheet :
The Zebra Tailed Lizard Makes A Great Pet But Needs A Large Enclosure To Be Healthy And Happy
Zebra Tailed Lizard :
Zebra Tailed Lizard Care Sheet And More :
The Zebra Tailed Lizards are native to the southwestern United States and to Northwestern Mexico. I love to watch these lizards run. And they really are a beautiful lizard. I see this lizard quite often in the pet trade and unfortunately I see this lizard in very small aquariums and enclosures. The smallest enclosure you should keep this lizard in is a 55 gallon aquarium with a wire top with safety latches to keep the lizard in the enclosure. In the wild these lizards are known as the fastest lizards in the dessert and this lizard is not going to run far or get much exercise in a very small container or enclosure.
Please Don't Turn Non Native Snakes Or Lizards Loose
This lizard has escaped from the pet trade in Florida and it is found in several locations in Florida and it appears to be breeding and reproducing in Florida. Many species of non native snakes, lizards, and fish have made it from the pet trade to the wilds of Florida. The pythons in south Florida are destroying the native wildlife in the Florida Everglades and are even competing with the alligators both for food sources and recent claims have been made that the pythons are preying on alligators. So please if you have a pet lizard or snake don't release it. It is now believed that the pythons may spread all over the southeastern United States. If you have a pet snake or lizard turn it over to the authorities if you can't keep it.
How To Care For A Zebra Tailed Lizard
Your Zebra Tailed Lizard will be 7 - 9 inches in total length when grown and the lizard has a distinct black and white banded tail and this is where the lizard got its name. It will have pale orange or yellow markings around its mouth. It will have an orange or yellow spot in the center.
Male Zebra Tailed Lizards have a pair of black blotches on the side and it extends to blue patches on the belly. Females don't have blue patches and the black bars are either very faint or not there at all.
These lizards are very active and alert and they are very active in all but the hottest weather. During the hottest parts of the day these lizards appear to do a dance. Standing first on two legs and then switching to the other two legs the lizard appears to be dancing. You will also catch this lizard running for short distances on its hind legs.
In the lizards native habitat where there are patches of creosote scrub is where you will find the highest concentrations of these lizards. You will find that this lizard will bury into fine sand at night for warmth and it will hide in the shade of bushes in the day time.
In its native habitat the female zebra tail lizards lay 2 - 8 eggs in the summer and the eggs will hatch sometime from July through November. Female zebra tail lizards will often lay several clutches of eggs throughout the summer especially if they are healthy and well fed.
The lizard in the wild eats a variety of insects, moths, bees, ants and spiders. In captivity you can feed the lizard on crickets, meal worms, and red worms. About once a month you should sprinkle calcium powder on the prey you are feeding to your lizard or lizards. In the wild the lizard also feeds on flowers and flower bulbs. You can occasionally offer your lizard a small piece of apple or other fruit. But make it only a small piece. You can also from time to time offer a few leafs of washed spinach.
In the wild the lizard will not often have access to water and usually drinks a few drops of dew or rain from leaves but I like to offer the lizard a small pond of water that I keep clean by running the water out through a filter and then back into the pond and I have some very happy zebra tailed lizards. I see them quite often in the water so I know they like it.Don't make the pond so deep that the lizards can't get out of it and you should put a rock in the center of the small pond for the lizard to climb out on.
In the wild the lizards body colors will adapt to its surroundings over time and if you keep zebra tailed lizards long term in a container or large enclosure you will see the same thing going on with your lizards.
One thing you should be aware of is that in the wild it is the tail of the zebra tailed lizard that it waves around and distracts predators. If a predator grabs the zebra tail lizard by the tail the tail will break off and the lizard will escape. The lizards tail will grow back. In the wild I have even seen these lizards with two tails. One long and one short and this lizard once lost part of its original tail.
You should use a good broad spectrum light in your lizards enclosure and the lights made and sold by Durtest like their vita light is a good light to use in your lizard enclosure. Fix any light inside your lizards enclosure so that the lizard can not touch it.You should know that over time the light will stop producing UVB light so replace the bulb every six months.
I hope I've given you information that will help you with your zebra tailed lizard and I hope if you have any comments, questions, or tips that you will post them below. Thanks for reading.
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ZEBRA-TAILED LIZARD Callisaurus draconoides
By Thomas C. Brennan
DESCRIPTION: A medium-sized (up to 102 mm or 4" from snout to vent), tan to yellowish tan lizard with long, slender limbs and a flattened tail. Two longitudinal rows of small gray-brown spots run down the middle of the back. The upper surfaces of the body are often marked with numerous cream spots or flecks. The back of each thigh is marked with a distinct, dark, horizontal line. The tail is marked with gray-brown bands that become black on the underside where they sharply contrast with the white background. The groin and lower sides are often tinted yellow. There are two dark bars on each side of the belly that extend up onto the sides just behind the forelimbs.
On males the belly bars are surrounded by patches of blue and sometimes yellow and orange. A pink or peach spot often marks the throat. On females bars are faint or lacking. The body scales are small and granular. The external ear openings and forward position of its side bars distinguish this lizard from the similar looking Greater Earless Lizard.
DISTRIBUTION: Distributed across nearly all of southwestern Arizona, our western borderlands, and our southeastern deserts. In our state it occurs at elevations ranging from near sea level along the Colorado River to about 5,000'.
HABITAT: Flatlands within the Sonoran Desertscrub, Mohave Desertscrub, and Chihuahuan Desertscrub communities are favored haunts for this lizard. It is usually encountered areas with sandy soil and plenty of open space in which to run. Although it is most common in the flatlands it is also encountered in sandy washes within foothills and bajadas.
BEHAVIOR: This heat tolerant diurnal lizard often remains active through mid-day when high temperatures force other lizards to seek shelter. It is occasionally encountered sleeping on the surface on warm nights. It hibernates underground during the cold months of winter and late fall. When approached by a predator it often curls and wags its tail over the back exposing the black and white “zebra stripes”. This may serve to let the predator know that it has been spotted by the lizard. If the predator knows it has been spotted it might not invest the energy required to chase this speedy lizard. The Zebra-tailed lizard runs with an explosive burst of speed. When fleeing it often runs with its tail curled over the back. This may be an effort to divert the predator’s attention to the tail (which can be regenerated). Both males and females are territorial and exhibit head bobbing, push-ups, and lateral compression of the body when outsiders approach.
DIET: This lizard sits and waits for prey items to wander within close proximity. It feeds on a variety of insects including grasshoppers, bees, wasps, caterpillars, beetles, and ants. It also feeds on a variety of spiders, small lizards, and occasionally plant material.
Brennan, T. C., & A. T. Holycross. 2006. A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in Arizona. Arizona Game and Fish Department. Phoenix, AZ
Brennan, T. C., and A. T. Holycross. 2005. A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Maricopa County. Arizona Game and Fish Department. Phoenix, AZ
Degenhardt, W. G., Painter, C. W., and Price, A. H.. 1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque.
Stebbins, R.C. 2003. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.
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