Mojave fringe-toed lizard (Uma scoparia)

The Mojave fringe-toed lizard (Uma scoparia), is a species of medium-sized, white or grayish, black-spotted diurnal lizard in the family Phrynosomatidae. It is adapted to living in sand dunes in the Mojave Desert. It ranges from Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County in California to extreme western Arizona in La Paz County. The Mojave fringe-toed lizard is omnivorous.

Descriptions

These lizards have a brown and tan coloration that helps them to blend in with the sand. The dorsal surface has a velvety texture intricate markings. In addition, they also have prominent elongated scales which form a fringe on the sides of their hind toes. These fringes aid with traction and speed, and help the lizard avoid sinking into loose, sandy dunes.

Fringe-toed lizards also possess upper jaws which overlap the lower ones, preventing the intrusion of sand particles, and nostrils that can be closed at will. Flaps also close against the ear openings when moving through sand and the upper and lower eyelids have interlocking scales that prevent sand from getting into the eyes.

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.

Leave a Comment