Third Eye - Vegas Vacation 2003  
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Tim Spuckler
8213 Wyatt Road
Broadview Heights, OH 44147

From April 17, 2003 thru April 22, 2003 I vacationed in Las Vegas, Nevada. The weather was in the 70's and many reptiles were just coming out of their winter resting period. We found seven different types of lizards (whiptails and zebratails were not photographed). No snakes were found on this trip. Most lizards were captured using the "noose" method, which involves slipping a lasso made of string over the reptile's head and pulling. This method of capture does not harm the animal. All animals were photographed and released at their point of capture. This section of the website contains digital photographs taken by Ken Gerard.

Wash with Lake Mead in Background
The weather was uncharacteristically cool and rainy. Several types of desert plants were in bloom. This is a wash - where melted snow from the mountains goes into Lake Mead.
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Side Blotched Lizard
Side Blotched Lizard
The side blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana) is the smallest and most common lizard found in the daytime. They only grow to about 4 inches, but are extremely variable in color and pattern. Side blotches will come out during the cooler temperatures which other desert lizards find unfavorable.
Side Blotched Lizard
Side Blotched Lizard
We had good luck catching side blotched lizards under warm boards and pieces of metal when the temperatures were in the 50's and the weather was overcast.
Desert Photo Ladybug Pupae
Under one board were a large number of ladybug larvae undergoing metamorphisis.
Striped Side Blotch Striped Side Blotch
An occasional striped side blotched lizard was found.
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Side Blotch Blue-spotted Side Blotch
The lizards were remarkably tame.
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Gator! Somebody Get Out the Field Guide
A rubber alligator found on the side of the road that tricked us into thinking it was a lizard.
Side Blotch Side Blotch
You can see how these lizards get their name.
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Night Lizard Night Lizard
We also found some night lizards (Xantusia vigilis) while looking for reptiles in this area. These lizards usually live near yucca plants.
Night Lizard Night Lizard
These lizards do not have eyelids and give live birth to two offspring in the fall. They have the lowest reproductive rate of any lizard in the desert.
Click here to see Part 2