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.