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Common checkered whiptail facts for kids

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Common checkered whiptail
Aspidoscelis tesselata.jpeg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Genus:
Aspidoscelis
Species:
tesselatus
Synonyms
  • Ameiva tesselata
    Say, 1823
  • Cnemidophorus grahamii
    Baird & Girard, 1852
  • Aspidoscelis tesselata
    Reeder, 2002
  • Cnemidophorus tesselatus
    SMitH & BUrGer 1949

The checkered whiptail (Aspidoscelis tesselatus) is a species of lizard found in the southwestern United States in Colorado, Texas and New Mexico, and in northern Mexico in Chihuahua and Coahuila. Many sources believe that the species originated from the hybridization of the marbled whiptail, Aspidoscelis marmoratus, the plateau spotted whiptail, Aspidoscelis septemvittatus, and possibly the six-lined racerunner, Aspidoscelis sexlineatus. It is one of many lizard species known to be parthenogenic. It is sometimes referred to as the common checkered whiptail to differentiate it from several other species known as checkered whiptails.

Description

The checkered whiptail grows to about 4 inches in length. Their pattern and base coloration varies widely, with brown or black blotching, checkering or striping on a pale yellow or white base color. Their rear legs often have dark spotting, and their underside is usually white with dark flecking on the throat area. They are slender bodied, with a long tail.

Behavior

Like other species of whiptail lizard, the checkered whiptail is diurnal and insectivorous. They are wary, energetic, and fast moving, darting for cover if approached. They are found in semi-arid, rocky habitats, normally in canyon lands or hilled regions. They are parthenogenic, laying up to eight unfertilized eggs in mid summer, which hatch in six to eight weeks.

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