The Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) is a common lizard of California and surrounding areas. They also can be found in Oregon and Lake Powell. They are harmless and fun to catch, although it is illegal to catch at Lake Powell. It is also known as the Blue-belly or Texas Swift.
Western fence lizards are about 8-10 cm long excluding their tail, and about 15 cm long with the tail included. They are brown to black in color (the brown may be sandy or greenish), but adult males have iridescent blue lateral patches on their flanks, and their entire bodies may be flecked with blue. Males may expose their blue stomachs in a territorial display. The blue is much less pronounced in females.
Some authors have raised the island fence lizard to specific rank. However, recent work in molecular systematics has suggested that there are four clades and 11 genetically separable populations, and the subspecies will probably have to be redefined.
Composition of Helminth Communities in Montane and Lowland Populations of the Western Fence Lizard, Sceloporus Occidentalis from Los Angeles County, California
Jul 01, 1998; ABSTRACT.-Five hundred seventy-two Sceloporus occidentalis from Los Angeles County, California, were examined for helminths: 200...