| 2015 (MIA?)||new to 2014 (MIA) ||New to Oct3, 2016||MIA 2016|
Living in Arizona's central desert is tough in its present condition. Its numerous mysteries and obvious signs of catastrophic events in recent history have filled volumes, some very interesting reading, some made unbelievable due to an overtone of gradualist ideology which turns historical marvels of planetary chaos into some long drawn-out story of exponential improbability. There are many critters which inhabit the harsh Arizona environment but these Brown Splotch Lizards have caught my attention due to their determined effort to co-habitate with humans on what has become a very active acrage. They would go un-noticed were it not for their lightning like movements as they flee from human hazards, a-foot and unaware.. They hang from fence, tree, logs or whatever gives them a better view and a safe place to stay warm. They are almost invisible, which is good for them against the various critters like birds and cats which would see them as a meal, so for many years they have been sharing my habitat and have become my highest priority of being mindful and considerate of them, since they seem to like my fenced-in habitat or at least see it as desireable for refuge from the chaos all around and as a place to bring their babies into the world...
A look at the many images persently in the root directory will be a better introduction than a thousand words for these Tree hanging lizard. Their casual hunting habits and their apparant vision limits makes me wonder how these critters have lived so long. I've lost several to human-caused hazards and i've come to wonder if they aren't more suited to a far different environment than what is currently the norm. Their tollerance for cold is low and they don't like extreme heat. I've seen these at the north rim of the grand canyon so their story takes in more regional conditions and capability than can be observed from one location. And this is made more puzzling when hibernation consideration are added. The observed significant growth of several infants which appeared late last year has me wondering how they spent their winter.. When a couple of them emerged early and didn't get into a warm nesting area for an overnighting they were found inanimate in a bucket where vulnerability was significant. Their growth and activity was highly unlikely so they must have been somewhat active to grow by almost 5 time their pre winter size..
Part of this study of their behavior will involve their vision and what their eyes are seeing.. From observations it is clear that they react to motion when it comes to the hunt and appear to have heat vision or at least take clues from thermal characteristics. They seem to have medium range vision capable of resolving movement at over a few meters for large bodies,,, that makes them really nervous. At close range movement of a small bug seems to not go un-noticed yet can be ignored.. Very small bugs are taken in as well. Those, that i could barely see, were casually consumed while this lizard let larger bugs get away. And as they wait you might even see them pounch on a flying critter such as ground bees, tiny wasps and flys.. Today while disturbing some areas where numerous spider webs were present it became a time of feeding and wild chases as this little-one monitored closely what was happening and stayed at the ready for any spiders that fled the scene, even standing by as i coaxed spiders in its direction..
They are an amazing lizard. And seeing them up close and personal impresses me to no end and amuses me regularly as i walk carefully about, for their sake..