Urosaurus microscutatus Small-scaled Lizard
Once upon a time these lizards from extreme southern California were considered Urosaurus microscutatus . Later, U. microscutatus was lumped with U. nigricaudus, and these lizards were therefore considered the latter species. But now, due to the Ph.D. thesis of one Andrew David Gottscho, Urosaurus microscutatus is back! All hail Urosaurus microscutatus!
Borrego Palm Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego County, CaliforniaAugust 1, 1999
Small-scaled Lizard (Urosaurus microscutatus)
This small lizard was a brave little showoff, flashing his belly colors, doing pushups, waggling his tail, and chasing off all nearby lizards, including much larger banded rock lizards and granite spiny lizards. Stebbins mentions Borrego Palm Canyon as the northernmost tip of the range of this species.

The population in this area used to be considered a separate species, the Small-scaled Lizard (Urosaurus microscutatus).

Borrego Palm Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego County, CaliforniaJuly 2, 2006
Small-scaled Lizard (Urosaurus microscutatus) Small-scaled Lizard (Urosaurus microscutatus)
I was back at the same beautiful desert canyon seven years later on a blisteringly hot day. It was so hot that there were very few reptiles out, just a handful of side-blotched lizards and whiptails. When I reached the highest point I was intending to reach, I sat down on a boulder in the shade to rest for awhile and kill some time before heading back down the canyon. (I wanted to kill some time to avoid disturbing a small herd of desert bighorn sheep that were browsing and drinking in the part of the canyon I had climbed up through earlier.)

While waiting, I caught sight of this little guy on a nearby boulder. I spent fifteen minutes watching it dash from one rock to another, gobbling up a number of tiny insects.

Borrego Palm Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego County, CaliforniaApril 27, 2009
Small-scaled Lizard (Urosaurus microscutatus)
Maybe one of these years I'll see a Urosaurus nigricaudus somewhere other than Borrego Palm Canyon. But maybe not.
Meling Ranch, Baja California, MexicoMay 15, 2013
Small-scaled Lizard (Urosaurus microscutatus) Small-scaled Lizard (Urosaurus microscutatus) Small-scaled Lizard (Urosaurus microscutatus)
Meling Ranch is a convenient place to stay if you're heading into Parque Nacional Sierra de San Pedro Mártir. It might actually be the only convenient place to stay. Fortunately, it's also a nice comfortable ranch/lodge, and has some easily viewable lizards. The prettier one here was hanging out on the outside wall of the big dining room, where Lorrie Smith and Matt Cage also photographed it.
Meling Ranch, Baja California, MexicoMay 16, 2013
Small-scaled Lizard (Urosaurus microscutatus)
One more Meling Ranch brush lizard bid us farewell the next day from a parking lot bollard.
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