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Wednesday, March 12, 2008


One of the many lizards inhabiting our yard left behind this shed skin I found while doing some spring cleaning in one of the darker corners of the back 40. Here it is for you to enjoy, draped artfully across the stapelia. It's kind of startling. Even though I am fully aware it's just the skin, still that ancient snake-loathing part of my brain jumps as I pass by this display and the rippling scaliness of it writhes into the corner of my eye. Almost as good as a thrill ride.

A reader, Doug, has helped identify the source of this skin as southern alligator lizard, Elgaria multicarinata. Aside from being really cool members of the local fauna, this healthy population of these reptiles is a good sign that my suburban yard's ecosystem is in balance.


Clarissa Padovani said...

Wowww!!! nice nice nice picture!!! i liked!! Where did u take?!

bye bye from Brazil

vanessa cardui said...

As are most (95% or so) of the photos on this site, this one was taken from life in my yard in Tustin, California. Cheers!

doug said...

Given the shape, and the fact that it's fully intact, that rules out any Fence Lizards (Sceloporus genus). It looks an awful lot like the skin shed by a Southern Alligator Lizard. (I have three of them as pets.) I would guess that's what you have here!

vanessa cardui said...

Thanks Doug. Photos of the southern alligator lizard look very much like what I see roaming around here.