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Class Reptilia
Order Squamata
Suborder Sauria
Family Phrynosomatidae

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Sceloporus (small)—Small Spiny Lizard // Sceloporus (large)—Large Spiny Lizard // Sceloporus clarkii—Clark's Spiny Lizard // Sceloporus cowlesi—Southern Plateau Lizard // Sceloporus graciosus—Sagebrush Lizard // Sceloporus jarrovii—Yarrow's Spiny Lizard // Sceloporus magister—Desert Spiny Lizard // Sceloporus occidentalis—Western Spiny Lizard // Sceloporus poinsettii—Crevice Spiny Lizard // Sceloporus tristichus—Northern Plateau Lizard

Sceloporus sp.—Spiny LizardsRegional Pleistocene distribution of Sceloporus sp.

A number of species of spiny lizards occur in the Southwest today in a variety of ecological habitats. The result is that a generic identification is of little aid for biogeography and is not helpful in environmental interpretation.

Sites.

Late Blancan: California Wash (Lindsay 1984).

Rancholabrean: Cool Water Coal Gasification Solid Waste Site (Jefferson 1991a).

Wisconsin: Costeau Pit (Jefferson 1991a).

Late Wisconsin: Antelope Cave (Jefferson 1991a); Burro Canyon (Van Devender and Mead 1978); Nankoweap Canyon (Cole and Mead 1981); Picacho Peak (Van Devender et al. 1991); Wolcott Peak (Van Devender and Mead 1978).

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Burnet Cave (Rickart 1977); Kokoweef Cave (Jefferson 1991a [two species]); Luz Foundation (Jefferson 1991a); Luz Solar Trough (Jefferson 1991a).

Literature. Cole and Mead 1981; Jefferson 1991a; Lindsay 1984; Rickart 1977; Van Devender and Mead 1978; Van Devender et al. 1991.

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Sceloporus sp. (small)—Small Spiny LizardRegional Pleistocene distribution of Sceloporus (small)

With several small species of spiny lizards possible, little interpretation is possible.

Sites.

Early/Early-Mid Wisconsin: Lost Valley (Harris 1993c); Rm Vanishing Floor (Harris 1993c).

Mid Wisconsin: Papago Springs Cave (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999); U-Bar Cave (Harris 1987).

Literature. Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999; Harris 1987, 1993c.

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Sceloporus sp. (medium)—Medium-size Spiny LizardRegional Pleistocene distribution of Sceloporus (medium-size)

With several medium-size species of spiny lizards possible, little interpretation is possible.

Sites.

Mid Wisconsin: Papago Springs Cave (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999).

Literature. Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999.

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Sceloporus sp. (large)—Large Spiny LizardRegional Pleistocene distribution of Sceloporus (large)

The same comments as for the two former entries for Sceloporus apply here, also.

Sites.

Mid Wisconsin: U-Bar Cave (Harris 1987).

Early/Late Wisconsin: Animal Fair (Harris 1993c).

Late Wisconsin: Charlies Parlor (Harris 1989: cf.); U-Bar Cave 15-18 ka (Harris 1989); U-Bar Cave 18-20 ka (Harris 1989: cf.).

Literature. Harris 1987, 1989, 1993c.

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Sceloporus clarkii Baird & Girard 1852—Clark's Spiny LizardPleistocene distribution of Sceloporus clarkii

Carl S. Lieb Photo: Sceloporus clarkiiWith a distribution from central Arizona southeast to southwestern New Mexico and south into Mexico, Clark's Spiny Lizard occurs primarily in woodland habitats. The sole record is from within the present geographic range of the species, but at a lower elevation than known records (Van Devender and Worthington 1977).

Fig. 1. Clark's Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus clarkii). Photograph by Carl S. Lieb.

Sites.

Sangamon: La Brisca (Van Devender et al. 1985: cf.).

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Deadman Cave (Mead et al. 1984: cf.); Howell's Ridge Cave (Van Devender and Worthington 1977: cf.).

Literature. Mead et al. 1984; Van Devender and Worthington 1977; Van Devender et al. 1985.

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Sceloporus cowlesi Lowe & Norris 1956—Southern Plateau LizardPleistocene distribution of Sceloporus cowlesi

Synonyms. Sceloporus undulatus, Eastern Fence Lizard. Leaché and Reeder (2002) limited the name S. undulatus to populations east of the Mississippi. Those populations mostly west of the Mississippi to eastern New Mexico and then southeast to the Gulf Coast became S. consobrinus, while populations bordering that species on the southwest became S. cowlesi. All of our New Mexican records are from the current range of S. cowlesi, and are so-recorded here based entirely on the current geographic distribution.

Carl S. Lieb Photo: Sceloporus cowlesiSceloporus cowlesi extends from central New Mexico and adjacent eastern Arizona southeast to southern Texas and well into Mexico (Leaché 2009). Applegarth (1979) indicated that the various subspecies of S. undulatus tend to have their own favored habitats, differing somewhat from one another; however, what then were considered subspecies, may now belong to different species. In the vicinity of Dry Cave at present, some dense vegetation in conjunction with loose rocks and rock crevices appears ideal. Van Devender and Worthington (1977) indicated that its habitats include grassland and woodland, and that it occasionally gets into desertscrub.

Fig. 1. Southern Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus cowlesi). Photograph by Carl S. Lieb.

This is one of the few species to occur at Dry Cave during full-glacial time.

Sites.

Wisconsin: Arroyo de las Tinajas 1 (UTEP).

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Dark Canyon Cave (Applegarth 1979).

Late Wisconsin: Animal Fair 18-20 ka (Applegarth 1979); Bison Chamber (Holman 1970); Dust Cave (this work: cf.); Harris' Pocket (Holman 1970); TT II (Harris 1993c); Upper Sloth Cave (Logan and Black 1979); Vulture Cave (Mead and Phillips 1981 cf.).

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Balcony Room (Holman 1970); Deadman Cave (Mead et al. 1984: cf.); Howell's Ridge Cave (Van Devender and Worthington 1977: cf.).

Literature. Applegarth 1979; Harris 1993c; Holman 1970; Leaché 2009; Leaché and Reeder 2002; Logan and Black 1979; Mead and Phillips 1981; Mead et al. 1984; Van Devender and Worthington 1977.

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Sceloporus graciosus Baird & Girard 1852—Sagebrush LizardRegional Pleistocene distribution of Sceloporus graciosus

Sites.

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Diamond Valley (Springer et al. 2009: cf.).

Literature. Springer et al. 2009.

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Sceloporus jarrovii Cope 1875—Yarrow's Spiny LizardPleistocene distribution of Sceloporus jarrovii

Carl S. Lieb Photo: Sceloporus jarroviiYarrow's Spiny Lizard occurs in southeastern Arizona and the bootheel of southwestern New Mexico, thence south into Mexico. It is a dweller in montane rocky habitats, but at higher elevation than the sites noted below.

Fig. 1. Yarrow's Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus jarrovii). Photograph by Carl S. Lieb.

Sites.

Late Wisconsin: U-Bar Cave 15-18 ka (Harris 1993c: cf.); U-Bar Cave 18-20 ka (Harris 1993c: cf.).

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Howell's Ridge Cave (Van Devender and Worthington 1977: cf.).

Literature. Harris 1993c; Van Devender and Worthington 1977.

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Sceloporus magister Hallowell 1854—Desert Spiny LizardPleistocene distribution of Sceloporus magister

Carl S. Lieb Photo: Sceloporus magisterThis is a desertscrub species now widely distributed throughout much of the lower elevations of the Southwest. Van Devender and Worthington (1977) indicated that it is expectable in the vicinity of Howell's Ridge Cave at present.

Fig. 1. Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister). Photograph by Carl S. Lieb.

Sites.

Late Blancan/Irvingtonian: Vallecito Creek, Anza-Borrego Desert (Cassiliano 1999).

?Late Irvingtonian/Rancholabrean: Emery Borrow Pit (Jefferson 1991a).

Mid Wisconsin: Papago Springs Cave (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.).

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Rancho La Brea (Brattstrom 1953).

Late Wisconsin: Brass Cap Point (Van Devender and Mead 1978: cf.); Burro Canyon (Van Devender and Mead 1978: cf.); Desert Almond (Van Devender et al. 1977a: cf.); New Water Mountains (Van Devender and Mead 1978: cf.); Peach Springs Wash (Van Devender et al. 1977a: cf.); Rampart Cave (Van Devender et al. 1977a: cf.); Vulture Cave (Mead and Phillips 1981: cf.); Wellton Hills (Van Devender and Mead 1978: cf.); Window Rock (Van Devender et al. 1977a: cf.).

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Deadman Cave (Mead et al. 1984: cf.); Howell's Ridge Cave (Van Devender and Worthington 1977).

Literature. Brattstrom 1953; Cassiliano 1999; Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: Jefferson 1991a; Mead and Phillips 1981; Mead et al. 1984; Van Devender and Mead 1978; Van Devender and Worthington 1977; Van Devender et al. 1977a.

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Sceloporus occidentalis Baird & Girard 1852—Western Fence LizardRegional Pleistocene distribution of Sceloporus occidentalis

Sites.

?Late Irvingtonian/Rancholabrean: Emery Borrow Pit (Jefferson 1991a).

Rancholabrean: Mescal Cave (Jefferson 1991a).

Wisconsin: Carpinteria (Jefferson 1991a).

Mid Wisconsin: McKittrick (Jefferson 1991a).

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Diamond Valley (Springer et al. 2009); Rancho La Brea (Brattstrom 1953).

Literature. Brattstrom 1953; Jefferson 1991a; Springer et al. 2009.

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Sceloporus poinsettii Baird & Girard 1852—Crevice Spiny LizardRegional Pleistocene distribution of Sceloporus poinsetii

The current distribution is southern New Mexico south into Mexico. It occurs now in the vicinity of Upper Sloth Cave (Logan and Black 1979).

Sites.

Late Wisconsin: Upper Sloth Cave (Logan and Black 1979).

Literature. Logan and Black 1979.

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Sceloporus tristichus Cope 1875—Northern Plateau LizardRegional Pleistocene distribution of Sceloporus tristichus

Synonyms. Sceloporus undulatus, Eastern Fence Lizard. Leaché and Reeder (2002) limited the name S. undulatus to populations east of the Mississippi. Those populations mostly west of the Mississippi to eastern New Mexico and then southeast to the Gulf Coast became S. consobrinus, while populations bordering that species on the southwest became S. cowlesi. Populations in north-central Arizona and north into Utah and Colorado became S. tristichus. The material listed here is assigned to the latter solely on the current geographic distribution, although S. occidentalis is a distinct possibility.

Sites.

Late Wisconsin: Desert Almond (Van Devender et al. 1977a); Rampart Cave (Van Devender et al. 1977a); Shinumo Creek (Van Devender et al. 1977a); Vulture Canyon (Van Devender et al. 1977a); Vulture Cave (Mead and Phillips 1981).

Literature. Leaché and Reeder 2002; Mead and Phillips 1981; Van Devender et al. 1977a.

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Last Update: 26 Mar 2014