Arizona Trip- May, 2009


My family and I went on a quick trip to Arizona this May, hoping to find some cool herps with Andy Holycross. We drove about an hour from Phoenix and went on a couple short hikes until it got dark when we started road-cruising. It would have been a pretty mediocre outing without 2 sightings, which made it an unbelievable success.

Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)

Same Lizard’s belly:

Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana)

Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister)

Greater Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus texanus):

Our best find of the trip:

Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum)

I was amazed to find one Gila Monster, and never would have expected to see another one, but sure enough, as we were hiking around near the first guy, Andy spotted another one wandering around!!!

It was starting to get dark, so we started road-cruising. Although the road wasn’t exactly full of life, we did happen to see a few things in several hours of cruising.

Red-spotted Toad (Bufo punctatus)
Our first Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake (Phyllorhynchus decurtatus):

The second one we found:

Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus):

A DOR Western Patch-nosed Snake (Salvadora hexalepis):

Species List

Mediterranean House Gecko

Ornate Tree Lizard

Side-blotched Lizard

Desert Spiny Lizard

Zebra-tailed Lizard

Greater Earless Lizard

Tiger Whiptail Lizard

Gila Monster (2)

Red-spotted Toad

Western Banded Gecko

Western Patch-nosed Snake (DOR)

Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake