Leaping Lesbian Lizard Facts
- Firstly, the Leaping Lesbian Lizard serves as the popular name for a particular New Mexico Whiptail Lizard. But what sets it apart is the fact that it was produced through the inter-breeding of two distinct native species of lizard.
- This astonishing lizard resulted from the mixing of the Little Striped Whiptail and the Western Whiptail. The hybridization of these species produces sterile males, however. But, nature did not stop there.
- Therefore, parthenogenesis (a type of asexual reproduction) allows the resulting all-female population to reproduce. Therefore, the unusual lizard actually evolved into a separate species capable of reproduction.
- In fact, this combination of inter-species hybridization and parthenogenesis isn’t unique. In fact, the process exists as a reproductive strategy in several species of whiptail lizard.
- Finally, the Leaping Lesbian Lizard also holds another distinction. That’s because this phenomenal reptile currently represents the official state reptile of the state of New Mexico.
Leaping Lesbian Lizard Physical Description
Most notably, the amazing Leaping Lesbian Lizard remains a small-to-moderate sized lizard. The majority of individuals attain a total length of between 6.5 – 9.1 in (16.5 – 23 cm). Quite obviously, sexual dimorphism does not appear in this species.
In addition, its coloring remains typically overall brown or black with seven pale yellow stripes from head to tail. Light spots often occur between the stripes. Individuals have a white or pale blue underside, with a blue or blue-green colored throat.
Additionally, the body develops as distinctly slender, while the tail of awesome reptile grows comparatively long. In fact, this coloring pattern represents an evolutionary adaptation for camouflage in its native habitat.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Telidae
- Genus: Cnemidophorus
- Species: C. neomexicanus
Leaping Lesbian Lizard Behavior
Furthermore, like most other whiptail lizards, the Leaping Lesbian Lizard evolved as diurnal (active mainly in the daylight) and insectivorous. It also remains wary, energetic, and fast moving, darting for cover if approached.
When it reproduces, the mother-to-be lays up to four unfertilized eggs, usually in mid-summer. These eggs then typically hatch approximately eight weeks later.
Despite reproducing asexually, and being an all-female species, the lizard still engages in mating behavior with other females of its own species. Interestingly, a common theory is that this behavior stimulates ovulation, as those who do not mate do not lay eggs.
Leaping Lesbian Lizard Distribution and Habitat
Not surprisingly, the fascinating Leaping Lesbian Lizard evolved as native to a particularly arid environment. That specific range includes the southern United States and northern Mexico, in North America.
However, even within these two regions, the species has specific areas it inhabits. As a result, in the United States it only appears in New Mexico and Arizona. Meanwhile, in Mexico, the species only lives in Chihuahua.
The New Mexico Whiptail Lizard (as it is also known) also lives in a rather wide variety of semi-arid habitats. These include grassland, rocky areas, shrubland, or mountainside woodlands, proving its adaptability.