Texas Spotted Whiptail, Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas March 2019

When I glanced down to find the source of the rustling noise in the leaf litter I caught a blur of color. Intrigued, I followed my fast moving subject through the detritus. Finally, he paused and I snapped a couple photos before he zipped away.

A bit of online research helped me identify my speedy fellow as a Texas Spotted Whiptail (Aspidocelis gularis). The species sports an exceptionally long tail, roughly three times their body length, but I was too busy concentrating on the colorful stripes and spots on its body to catch the tail.

Gularis is Latin meaning throat which is an appropriate feature to focus on since the reddish throat is so prominent (females of the species sport a lighter pink throat). Here’s a better photo of the back:


Categories: Nature Notes

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