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.
Round-tailed Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma (Doliosaurus) modestum)
I like how this lizard is described as “exceptionally flat and wide”.
Okay, so this melittologist’s hands are a bit bigger than mine, but this lizard was teeny!
Melittologists like lizards too! Proof!
Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum)
A much bigger lizard (cause it’s from Texas, right? Right?? *nudge*)
“This isn’t a bee…”
This guy is bigger than my hand!