Sceloporus magister, also known as the Twin-spotted Spiny Lizard or the Desert Spiny Lizard, is a reptile endemic to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.Like many desert lizards, Desert Spiny Lizards stay warm by changing their color so they are darker during cool times, which allows them to absorb more heat from the sun, and become lighter during warm times so they reflect more solar radiation (rays). The spiny lizard also uses camouflage so they are not easily seen by predators.
Ten Facts about Desert Spiny Lizard
- Desert Spiny Lizards eat insects and rarely, small plants.
- Like all desert reptiles, the spiny lizard spends most of the day inactive in burrows.
- The males have vivid ventral colorings that easily demarcate them from other species.
- Mountain spiny lizards are found in mountainous areas at elevations between 5,000 and 10,000 ft (1,520 and 3,050 m). They prefer rocky, well-forested areas.
- A large, stocky lizard with large, spiny scales and crossbars on the back.
- Like many other lizards, spiny lizards exhibit metachromatism, which is color change as a function of temperature. When it is cooler, colors are much darker than when the temperature is high.
- The Desert Spiny Lizard ranges across the deserts of southwestern Arizona and the northeastern plateaus at elevations ranging from near sea level along the Colorado River to about about 5,000'.
- Spiny lizard is the biggest of the bunch, growing up to 14 inches or more, including the tail.
- There lifespan is about 8 to 10 years.
- Their predators includes snakes, avian predators, coyotes, and foxes.