Surprise Visit From Pest Management Team Member

California Herps Page for Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard – Sceloporus uniformis


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I was quite surprised to find a friendly visitor in my dining room this afternoon.  A rather calm lizard was basking on the tile floor.  My cat walked by without notice.  She almost stepped over her.  In spite of warm weather, I easily picked her up.  Our lizards are rather tame, but this was unusual.

I put her in a big metal bowl for a photo shoot.  I added a 5 x 8 index card for scale.  She calmly watched me take her photos, and then tired of the project.  I picked her up quick for the last shots.  My apologies if the focus wasn’t great.  I was using a cell phone and the lizard was only moderately cooperative.  OK, for a lizard, she was very cooperative.

After I finished taking her photos, I brought her out to an area where I thought she would find good chow and have nice cover.  She paused on an iris leaf to study me a bit before scampering on.  Too bad I didn’t bring my camera out for her send off.

Based on information from she “eats a variety of small invertebrates and their larvae including ants, beetles, grasshoppers, spiders, centipedes, and caterpillars, and occasionally small lizards, nestling birds, leaves, flowers and berries.”  I hope she prefers to eat more of the “ants, beetles, grasshoppers, spiders, centipedes, and caterpillars” rather than “occasionally small lizards, nestling birds, leaves, flowers and berries.” Perhaps some bites out of my tomatoes and strawberries might be explained by her diet.  Still, her consumption of numerous pests makes the occasional bites from fruit acceptable. May she find the big black ones that scurry in the night particularly tasty.











About Caliche Chick

I retired from a career as an Environmental Scientist and Botanist. My first career was teaching science and English as a Second Language (ESL), and content classes for ESL students at the middle school level. I also taught introductory biology at the community college level. I have an avid interest in plants that grow with little to no irrigation. I also keep a vegetable garden, fruit trees, and back yard chickens. When I am not in my yard, I am taking Construction Technology Classes at Victor Valley College and working on my "fixer upper" home.
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