Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Diversion to Southern Utah: Mammals and Reptiles

The deserts of southern Utah are a treasure trove of herps, and some of the lizards cooperated for photographs. In the pine forests, many squirrels were to be seen, including Douglas' Squirrel (not photographed), the ubiquitous Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels, and probably two species of chipmunk.

A Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel, looking very much like a large chipmunk. Several of these squirrels invaded our campsite every day, and tried their darndest to filch food. Posey Lake, Utah.

Another Golden-mantled, posing in the morning light. Posey Lake, Utah.

Aren't I just too cute? Posey Lake, Utah.

This one liked sitting next to the pot scrubber, but never offered to help clean up. Posey Lake, Utah.

Without a long lens, the diminutive chipmunks were difficult to photograph, even though they practically climbed in our laps in our camp site trying to get food (which we never gave them). One actually did jump onto Gary, and was immediately shown the way to the ground! I am guessing that this one is a Colorado Chipmunk, and I think the bold one that climbed on Gary was a Least Chipmunk. Posey Lake, Utah.

I think that this is a Sagebrush Lizard, Sceloporus graciosus. It was practically a greeter at the Grand Staircase Escalante Visitor's Center, very fearless and seeming almost pleased to pose for photos. Escalante, Utah.

Another view of the same lizard above. Escalante, Utah.

After doing a bit of research, I think this lizard is a Tree Lizard, Urosaurus ornatus. Multiple sources described it as often matching it's background, and this one is doing a good job on the red rock, here. Coyote Gulch, off Hole-in-the-Rock Road, Grand Staircase Escalante, Utah.

The biggest lizards, with personalities to match, that we saw, were these Desert Spiny Lizards, Sceloporus magister. Coyote Gulch, off Hole-in-the-Rock Road, Grand Staircase Escalante, Utah.

Here is a Desert Spiny with an orange head (the Orange-headed Desert Spiny Lizard). Coyote Gulch, off Hole-in-the-Rock Road, Grand Staircase Escalante, Utah.

These lizards liked to pose, and who wouldn't with looks like this? Coyote Gulch, off Hole-in-the-Rock Road, Grand Staircase Escalante, Utah.


  1. You were able to capture some good images on your trip. I enjoyed them.

  2. Nice photos, thanks for posting