A tale of two horned lizards

I generally call myself an “allogist” because, in spite of my training in botany and my research experience in entomology and my passion for ornithology…I just love all living things and I want to know each one by its name. However, most biologists I know are more likely to specialise on a given group. Bee specialists are called melittologists and though their eyes might wander to the occasional velvet ant or tarantula hawk, they are really quite focused on bees.

When I was taking a bee course in Arizona, for example, I couldn’t get them to stop and look a road runner, which to me was very exciting.  “Birds drool, insects rule,” one of my entomologist friends quips routinely.

But I have to say, when I found these horned lizards in the desert while we were sampling for bees, they definitely got some attention from the other melittologists.  “Horny toad!” I shouted with a squee!  And they all came to admire it.  Not even a melittologist is immune to the cuteness of a fat, lazy lizard.  I found two different horned lizard species on that day.

So. Exciting.

Round-tailed Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma (Doliosaurus) modestum)

I like how this lizard is described as “exceptionally flat and wide”.

Horned Lizard

Horned Lizard

Deceptively tiny!

Horned Lizard

Okay, so this melittologist’s hands are a bit bigger than mine, but this lizard was teeny!

Horned Lizard

Melittologists like lizards too!  Proof!

Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum)

Horned Lizard

A much bigger lizard (cause it’s from Texas, right? Right??  *nudge*)

Horned Lizard

Horned Lizard

“This isn’t a bee…”

Horned Lizard

Texas Horned Lizard

This guy is bigger than my hand!


5 thoughts on “A tale of two horned lizards

  1. I caught and played with horny toads throughout my west Texas childhood. The ones found where I grew up are endangered now. You’re lucky to have found these sweethearts!

  2. Pingback: Looking at a Lizard, by Barry Spacks | standingoutinmyfield

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