Wednesday, July 6, 2011
The western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) lives in almost every part of California and Nevada and in certain areas of the neighboring states. Males show bright blue patches or lines along the sides of the body [1-3], which are best seen when the lizard turns around—what he never does. While I was watching a western fence lizard in the upper Hunter Creek area west of Reno in Nevada, a friendly hiker came along, carefully picked up the lizard and turned him around: the above picture shows the blue belly and his yellow-orange limbs. The picture below shows the typical angle of view, which we have, when encountering lizards. The skin with coarse, spiny scales of this male lizard, exhibiting patterns of light and dark brown triangular polyominoes on a grayish white background, can be seen.
References and more to explore
 San Diego Natural History Museum: Sceloporus occidentalis, Western Fence Lizard [www.sdnhm.org/fieldguide/herps/scel-occ.html].
 I. Lindsey: Western Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis [kaweahoaks.com/html/lizard_western_fence.htm].
 Peter Alden and Fred Heath: Field Guide to California. National Audubon Society, Chanticleer Press, 1998; page 257.
 Mary Sharp: Western Fence Lizard's Diet [www.ehow.com/about_6569760_western-fence-lizard_s-diet.html].
 Laura Hautala: Watching for Blue Bellies. Bay Nature June 2008 [baynature.org/articles/web-only-articles/watching-for-blue-bellies].
Posted by Axel D. at 9:47 PM