Whiptails (Family Teiidae)
Western Whiptail,Cnemidophorus tigris (Baird & Girard, 1852). (Plates 10.21 and 10.22, Map 10.16) 8–14 in (20–35 cm); four middorsal pale yellow stripes, distinct on front part of body, less distinct on back part; reticulate pattern of black and gray between stripes, on sides of body, and on limbs; reticulate pattern on underside of body, with neck and chest nearly completely black in some individuals; tail very
long, usually more than twice body length; in juveniles pale yellow stripes continuous and tail blue (see Plate 10.22). Habitat: In this area, Western Whiptails occur in all terrestrial habitats up to about 7,500 ft (2,290 m) in the Pinyon-juniper Woodland. This species is most common in washes and sandy areas. They are active lizards and are commonly seen moving from bush to bush in search of food. These lizards feed on invertebrates, which are captured on the surface or dug our of the ground. Remarks: The subspecies of Western Whiptail present in the area is the Great Basin Whiptail (C. t. tigris ). Members of the genus Cnemidophorus range from Minnesota to Argentina and from California to Maryland. There are about 45 species, of which 15 are all-female. These species reproduce asexually, from eggs laid by the female and each offspring is a clone of the mother. These all female species have a larger-than-normal chromosome number (polyploidy) because of the original hybridization of two
different species and the incorporation of chromosomes from both parent species into the new asexual species. The Western Whiptail is not an all-female species, but it is an ancestral parent for some of the all-female species that occur in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and northern Mexico. Range: Throughout the White-Inyo mountains region below 7,500 ft (2,290 m). References: Bezy and Sites (1987), Cole (1984), Parker (1972), Wright and Low (1968).
Localities: California, Inyo Co.: 3,800 ft, 6,600–6,800 ft, Near Big Horn Mine, Hunter Canyon, Inyo Mtns. (CAS); 1,620 m, 21.3 mi NE Big Pine; 5,000 ft, 24 mi NE; 2,400–4,850 ft, Daisy Canyon, Inyo Mtns. (CAS); 5,200 ft, 15 mi N Darwin; Darwin Falls (CAS, MVZ); NW end Deep Springs Valley (LACM); 23.6 mi SE of Hwy. 168 on Eureka Valley Rd.; 27.7 mi SE; 2,250–5,977 ft, Grapevine Canyon, Nelson Range (CAS); Independence; 4,000 ft, 0.5 mi W (AMNH); 1.4 mi W; 2 mi N; 3,800 ft, 2.5 mi E; 6,000–6,100 ft, 2 mi W Jackass Spring, Nelson Range; Joshua Flats, 21.2 mi SE of Hwy. 168 on Eureka Valley Rd.; 1 mi S Keeler (JACM); Laws; 4,200 ft, Long John Canyon, Inyo Mtns.; Lone Pine (FMNH, USNM); 4,300 ft, 2.3 mi W (LACM); 2.9 mi W (LACM); 4,700 ft, 3 mi W, 0.5 mi S; 4 mi W; 10.0 mi SE; 4,000 ft, Mazourka Canyon, Inyo Mtns.; 1 mi S Mono County line on Hwy. 168; 1,200 ft, Mesquite Sand Dunes, Saline Valley (CAS); Panamint Springs (CAS, MVZ); 5.6 mi N of Hwy. 190 on Saline Valley Rd.; near Freshwater Pond, W side, Saline Valley (CAS); NW end, Saline Valley (CAS); 5 mi N Salt Works; near Seven Springs, S of Lower Warm Spring, Saline Valley (CAS); 850–1,400 ft, Warm Springs Rd., Saline Valley (CAS); Willow Creek, Saline Valley; 6,750 ft, Wyman Creek, White Mtns. Mono Co.: Benton. Nevada, Esmeralda Co.: 0.25 mi W of Hwy. 264 along Chiatovich Creek, Fish Lake Valley; 5,000 ft, 0.75 mi W; 4,800 ft, 1.5 mi N Dyer; Fish Lake; 7,400 ft, Indian Creek, White Mtns.; 9.1 mi SSW Silver Peak; Mineral Co.: 3.9 mi NE California state line on Hwy. 6.