Uma thurmanae — Mohawk Dunes Fringe-toed Lizard
This species was considered part of Uma rufopunctata until a 2020 study by E. Derycke et al.
I had long wanted to complete my list of U.S. horned lizard species with a visit to extreme southwestern Arizona, and that area is also home to this fine fringe-toed lizard that I had not previously seen. In fact, the two species occupy the same habitat in this area, so I hoped to see them both on the same outing, and indeed I did. I saw five or six of these extremely wary lizards in the late afternoon when I first went looking for them, but any that I attempted to approach on foot zipped off into the distance and usually into a burrow before I could get a decent photo. I then happily discovered that they are far less cautious around cars than people, and I got some good photos through the (open) window of my trusty Honda Element.
A couple of days later, I returned to the same area in the morning. Even more fringe-toed lizards scampered about, with quite a few of them hanging out in the dirt roads. I had slightly better luck approaching on foot than on my previous visit, but still nearly all of my decent photos were taken from my car.
I expected to see a bunch more of these excellent lizards on this visit, but I ended up seeing only this one (plus two or three more that zoomed away unphotographed).
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2017. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, Eighth Edition
- Jones, L. L. C., Lovich, R. E. 2009. Lizards of the American Southwest: A Photographic Field Guide