Western Whiptail, Cnemidophorus tigris
The Western Whiptail is a long snake-like lizard with a narrow
elongated head. It can often be seen running along in an alligator like
fashion from bush to bush.
Habitat of the Western Whiptail
The Western Whiptail likes cover. It tries to stay to the shade and
protection of shrubs. It likes plants that touch the ground. It does
not like weeds as they interfere with hunting and movement and have low
arthropod availability. It likes leaf litter for hunting. Leaf litter
(or mulch) is easy to dig in as it is loose and well aerated. It also
has a wealth of arthropods. Leaf litter is also very good for your
plants, retaining moisture and adding nutrients to the soil.
Diet of the Western Whiptail
The Western Whiptail eats arthropods (spiders, insects, etc.) They
hunt in the leaf litter and soil.
The Western Whiptail is an avid hunter. They use their front legs to
dig in the leaf litter for insects or other arthropods. They stick out
their tongues, probing the air in search of prey.
Coloration of the Western Whiptail
The Western Whiptail is covered with black and white to brownish
orange scales. It has parallel stripes down its dorsal side to the base
of the tail where the stripes turn to rings and then fade to a dull
color. They have very long tails which exceed the length of their
bodies. Because of its coloration, it blends in well with the speckled
shade under shrubs, and the mulch, and gravely soil that it resides on.
Behavior of the Western Whiptail
The Western Whiptail is a shy lizard. It does not like people or
other potential predators coming too close.