What is a Great Basin Whiptail Lizard
Below is a transcription of the above sign found at the Valley of Fire Visitor Center.
Great Basin Whiptail Lizard – Cnemidophorus tigris
Habitat: Semi-arid deserts. Open areas with firm soil, sparse plant cover. Requires high heat to be active, becomes sluggish if the temperature falls below +100°F (+38° C).
Size/Description: 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm.) long, pointed snout and very long tail. Body and upper tail spotted; moves with a “jerky” gait on long hind legs with long toes. Stripes on back of juveniles vanish with age. Young whiptails have bright blue tails.
Food: Insects and larvae, small lizards, spiders, and scorpions.
Range: Baja California to eastern Oregon, Southern Idaho to West Texas and Mexico.
Adaptation for Survival: Fast runner, up to 15 mph (28 km/h). Changes direction easily; escapes very high ground temperatures by retreating to burrow.
Comments: Active in the daytime; can climb into bushes after caterpillars. Numerous enemies: hawks, snakes, other animals. Unlike most lizards, actively hunts for its prey.