Aspidoscelis tesselata
Common Checkered Whiptail

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Other Names: Checkered Whiptail
Description: Slender lizard with a comparatively long tail, about 3 times the head-body length. Small dorsal scales and eight rows of large, rectangular scales on the belly. Dorsal ground color and pattern vary widely; typically, the pattern is black spots or bars arranged in a checkered manner on a light ground color and there may be six light stripes. Forelimbs are light with dark spots and hind limbs are dark with light spots. Ventral surface is light with possible dark flecks on chin and chest. Yellow or light brown tail with spots on sides.
Similar Species: The Eastern and Western Marbled Whiptails has mespptychial scales that are not abrubtly enlarged and have considerably more dark pigmentation ventrally on the chin, chest and tail as adults. The Gray Checkered Whiptail has a much more finely reticulated dorsal pattern of 10-14 longitudinal stripes broken by frequent fusions between adjacent dark fields and it is known in New Mexico only from the vicinity of Antelope Pass in the Peloncillos in Hidalgo County. Aspidoscelis tesselata grows to adult total lengths of 16-24 cm (6.5-9.5 in).
Venom: None
Habitat: Almost always associated with rocky terrains, the habitat of Aspidoscelis tesselata varies from open plains to canyons to foothills.
Behavior: This diurnal lizard prefers to live in small, isolated groups.
Hibernation: Underground during the cooler months
Reproduction: Aspidoscelis tesselata is an all-female species. Reproduction occurs through parthenogenesis. Two to eight unfertilized eggs are laid in the summer. Hatchlings appear in August.
Diet: Termites, beetles, grasshoppers and butterflies and moths.
Adapted from account on