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Common Names in English:
Long-nosed Leopard Lizard, Longnose Leopard Lizard
Common Names in Spanish:
Gambalia wislizenii inhabits a variety of desert woodland and scrub habitats such as semiarid plains grown to bunch grass , alkali bush , sagebrush, creosote bush, or other scattered low plants . It prefers sandy or gravelly flats and plains, or hardpan . The greatest densities of this species have been observed in creosote flats (Zeiner et al. 1988). It is less common in rocky areas and it avoids dense grass or brush (Stebbins 1985; Zeiner et al. 1988).
includes desert and semi-desert areas with scattered
or other low plants
, sagebrush), especially
areas with abundant rodent burrows (Nussbaum et al.
Hammerson 1999, Grismer 2002, Stebbins 2003). The species is basically
dwelling, but sometimes individuals climb into bushes. When
threatened, leopard lizards typically run to the base
of a shrub
and remain motionless there. When inactive
, they occupy burrows Eggs
are laid in burrows..
List of Habitats:
- 3 Shrubland
- 3.5 Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
- 8 Desert
- 8.1 Desert - Hot
- 8.2 Desert - Temperate [more info]
of G. wislizenii consists of insects and lizards
such as termites, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, spiders, Callisaurus,
Cnemidophorus, Phrynosoma, and it also cannibalizes members
own species (McCoy 1967; Stebbins 1985). Southern populations tend
to consume a larger quantity
of lizards in their diet, while northern
populations eat primarily grasshoppers (Parker and Pianka 1976).
The leopard lizard occasionally consumes some plant material
, and berries
) or small rodents such as pocket
1954, 1985; Dixon 1967; Tollestrup 1979). Water is not required,
necessary moisture is gleaned from food.
G. wislizenii utilizes stalking (following prey ) and ambush feeding strategies, usually waiting for insect or lizard prey in the shade of a bush , where its spotted pattern blends in (Stebbins 1985). Pietruszka (1986) demonstrated that there is a seasonal shift in hunting strategies in G. wislizenii. The shift is from active hunting or stalking which is utilized early in the season to ambush strategy used late in the season.
Soon after the adults
begins (late April to mid-May).
No pair bond is formed between adults. From May to June, adults lay
an average of 5-6 eggs
: 2-11). Typically one clutch
, although occasionally a second clutch is
produced (Parker and Pianka 1976; Tollestrup 1983). Birthing/egg-laying
occurs in an underground burrow/den, although no nest
formed. McCoy (1967) found a correlation
between lizard size and
clutch size in the small sample
that he studied. Egg incubation is
estimated to be between five and seven weeks (McCoy 1967). Young
emerge in August, when adult activity is coming to an end. Tollestrup
(1979) suggests that the timing of the juvenile
with the cessation of adult activity may aid in the prevention of
Southern populations exhibit testicular regression earlier in the season than northern populations, but breeding season length is similar in both areas (Parker and Pianka 1976). Both sexes reach sexual maturity at about 2 years old (Montanucci 167; McCoy 1967). Parker and Pianka (1976) estimated maturity at about 22 months for a population in Utah.
Without adequate food supplies, this species lacks the physiological energies to reproduce. Tollestrup (1979) noted that when inadequate rainfall fails to support plant growth for insects and, indirectly, other insect-eating lizards, the long-nosed leopard lizard does not reproduce.
G. wislizenii is a wide-ranging, predatory
lizard of the desert
flatlands. It is diurnal
and has the potential to be active
when the weather is mild to warm. The daily activity cycle starts
relatively early (0530-0830; variation
depends on location), and
after a period of basking
, long-nosed leopard lizards begin active
hunting and feeding (McCoy 1967). Activity is restricted
to the mornings
and afternoons during hot weather, and to mornings only, during the
hottest weather. It excavates
burrows in sandy and friable
and uses rodent burrows for refuge as well. Adults
use the same burrow
on many successive nights, and habitually use certain nearby basking
Annual activity begins later than many other lizards, usually not until mid-April, and G. wislizenii is not found after mid-August (Stebbins 1954; Montanucci 1967; McCoy 1967; Parker and Pianka 1976; Tollestrup 1979, 1983). Studies have demonstrated that adult leopard lizard activity decreases over the course of the season with marked differences between the sexes (Montanucci 1965; Pietruszka 1986). Females have been found to remain active longer than males throughout the season. Montanucci (1967) suggests that this has a physiological basis. “Presumably, the thermal threshold for daily activity rises with the decreasing physiological need for food,” which results from increased storage of paired fat bodies later in the season (Montanucci 1965). Much of the female food intake has been used for egg development, leaving them with little stored fat. Such females remain active late in the season, until sufficient fat has accumulated to raise the thermal threshold to the level effecting inactivity (Montanucci 1967). Males, having accumulated fat more quickly than females, succumb to the decreasing need for food.
Survival: Survivorship in juveniles is estimated to be 5-40%; in adults approximately 50% survivorship (Parker and Pianka 1976; Tollestrup 1982).
McCoy (1967) reports that leopard lizards are remarkably unwary, and when stalked they usually only flatten themselves against the ground , most often in the shade of a bush and remain immobile. Additionally, he observed that when startled in the open, they do not run any great distance , but simply dash to the cover of a nearby bush and freeze.
The color pattern of hatchling leopard lizards is strikingly different from adults. The vividly contrasting head pattern (black and white bars cover the head) is the most conspicuous feature of hatchlings and is thought to function as camouflage (McCoy 1967).
Socio-Spatial Behavior: The home range of this lizard can be as large as several ha., but it is not known to defend a territory (Zeiner et al. 1988). Parker and Pianka (1976) suggest that the sexually dimorphic size difference in G. wislizenii, females being the larger sex, may be related to the apparent lack of territoriality in the species. Densities vary from 5 to 19 individuals per ha. Parker and Pianka (1976) indicate both male and female biased sex ratios at different populations. McCoy (1967) reports observations of adult leopard lizards acting oblivious to each other except during the courtship and mating season. In one instance, he observed a large female and two smaller males within one foot of each other under a sage bush at East Monument Canyon on 26 July 1962. Each lizard was individually noosed and captured without alarming the remaining lizards. Additionally, no social interaction (other than mating) was observed during three seasons of study. Pietruska (1986) suggests that there is a temporal component to the degree of disparity between foraging movements of Cnemidophorus and G. wislizenii. He observed a great similarity between the two early in the season, both actively foraging, but G. wislizenii became sedentary late in the season.
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Grobben, 1908
- (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Bateson, 1885
- Cuvier, 1812
- Jawed Vertebrates
- Goodrich, 1930
- Superorder: Lepidosauria () -
- Infraclass: Lepidosauromorpha ()
- Subclass: Diapsida ()
- Class: Lepidosauria ()
- Superclass: Tetrapoda () - Goodrich, 1930
- Infraphylum: Gnathostomata () - auct. - Jawed Vertebrates
- Subphylum: Vertebrata () - Cuvier, 1812 - Vertebrates
- Phylum: Chordata () - Bateson, 1885 - Chordates
- Infrakingdom: Chordonia () - (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Branch: Deuterostomia () - Grobben, 1908
- Subkingdom: Bilateria () - (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Kingdom: Animalia () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Crotaphytus fasciatus Hallowell 1852: 206 • Crotaphytus fasciatus MOCQUARD 1899< /i> (Non Hallowell) • Crotaphytus fasciolatus MOCQUARD 1903< /i> (Nom. Nov. Pro C. Fasciatus) • Crotaphytus gambelii Baird & Girard 1852: 126 • Crotaphytus wislezenii Boulenger 1885: 204 • Crotaphytus wislezenii [sic] — Boulenger 1885: 204 • Crotaphytus wislizenii Baird & Girard 1852: 340 • Crotaphytus wislizenii Baird 1859: 7 • Crotaphytus wislizenii — Burt 1935 • Crotaphytus< /i> (Gambelia) Wislizenii — Baird 1859: 7 • Gambelia wislizenii — Conant & Collins 1991: 97 • Gambelia wislizenii — Smith & Taylor 1950: 94 • Gambelia wislizenii — Stebbins 1985: 123 • Gambelia wisllizenii [sic] — Liner 2007
Status: Accepted Name
Comment: Holotype: USNM 2770 Holotype: CAS 79872 [neseotes] Synonymy after SMITH and TAYLOR 1950. Subspecies after LINER 1994. Named after Frederick Adolph Wislizenius (1810-1889), German-born physician who received his MD at Zurich (Switzerland) after he fled Germany to escape political unrest. After 1835 he lived in the US and worked there as surgeon.
This species formerly was included in the genus Crotaphytus. Gambelia copeii and G. sila formerly were included in this species (see McGuire 1996). McGuire (1996) pointed out that nominal subspecies exhibit broad zones of intergradation and that dorsal pattern classes of the nominal subspecies occur sporatically throughout the range of the species; hence subspecies punctata (or punctatus) and maculosa (or maculosus) were synonymized under G. wislizenii, the species thus being monotypic.
Orange et al. (1999) examined mtDNA data for range-wide samples and identified two major clades: western (Mojave, Great Basin , and Colorado Plateau deserts) and eastern (Chihuahuan Desert). A third, more divergent lineage with unknown geographic distribution was represented by a single haplotype from southwestern Arizona. The phylogeographic breaks were consistent with a model of late Pliocene/early Pleistocene vicariance..
Members of the genus Gambelia
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 4 species and subspecies in this genus:
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- Search using Scientific Name and Vernacular Names: All the Web | AltaVista Canada | AltaVista | Excite | Google | HotBot | Lycos
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- Bulletin - United States National Museum. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, [etc.];1877-1971. url p. 253, p. 282, p. 291.
- Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences Los Angeles, Calif.: The Academy, 1971- url p. 43, p. 58, p. 77, p. 79.
- California fish and game. [San Francisco, etc.]: State of California, Resources Agency, Dept. of Fish and Game. url p. 116.
- Phylogenetic systematics of iguanine lizards: a comparative osteological study / by Kevin de Queiroz. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1987. url p. 177.
- Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences. San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences, 1979- url p. 341.
- Report upon United States Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian / Washington [D.C.]: G.P.O., 1875-1889. url p. 599.
- Selected vertebrate endangered species of the seacoast of the United States / prepared by National Fish and Wildlife Laboratory, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [Washington]: The Service: [for sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.], 1980. url p. 4, p. 6.
- Sexual size differences in reptiles / by Henry S. Fitch. 1981 Lawrence: University of Kansas, 1981. url p. 15, p. 58.
- The Bulletin of zoological nomenclature. London, International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature. url p. 158.
- The Great Basin naturalist. Provo, Utah: M.L. Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University, 1939-1999. url p. 519, p. 719, p. 8.
- The palatal dentition in squamate reptiles: morphology, development, attachment, and replacement / D. Luke Mahler, Maureen Kearney. 108 2006 Chicago, Ill.: Field Museum of Natural History, c2006. url p. 17, p. 8.
- University of Kansas publications, Museum of Natural History. 8 Lawrence, University of Kansas. url p. 657.
- Variation in clutch and litter size in New World reptiles / by Henry S. Fitch. 1985 Lawrence: University of Kansas, 1985. url p. 16, p. 74.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed February 1, 2012.
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Accessed February 27, 2008. http://www.gbif.org Mediated distribution data from 7 providers.
- Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Gambelia wislizenii. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloadedon 01February2012.
- Hammerson, G.A. 2007. In IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCNRedList.org. Downloaded July 19, 2008.
- IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. . Downloaded on January 28, 2012.
- Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program, Understanding the Plants and Animals of Western Riverside County MSHCP University of California, Berkeley and Center for Conservation Biology, University of California, Riverside.
- Ruggiero M., Gordon D., Bailly N., Kirk P., Nicolson D. (2011). The Catalogue of Life Taxonomic Classification, Edition 2, Part A. In: Species 2000 and ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2011 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., Ouvrard D., eds). DVD; Species 2000: Reading, UK.
- TIGR Reptile Database . Release date: October 2, 2007
- Uetz, Peter. The Reptile Database
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 27, 2008:
- Arizona State University, International Institute for Species Exploration: Arizona State University Amphibian and Reptile Collection
- California Academy of Sciences: CAS Herpetology Collection Catalog
- Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History: Vertebrate specimens
- Museum of Southwestern Biology, Division of Amphibians and Reptiles: Museum of Southwestern Biology, Division of Amphibians and Reptiles database
- Museum of Vertebrate Zoology: Terrestrial vertebrate specimens
- Sternberg Museum of Natural History: Herp Collection
- Yale University Peabody Museum: Peabody Herp Collection DiGIR provider Service
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2539850
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Rep-3004
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 2481042
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 173924
- IUCN ID: 210497
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: ARACF07020
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 13490