Sonoran Spiny-tailed Iguana ~ Profile by Kimberly Chadwick

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Sonoran Spiny-tailed Iguana ~ Profile by 

Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum
Tucson, Arizona
Canon Powershot SX10IS

Kimberly P-Chadwick’s Natural Photography Fan Page

Sonoran Spiny-tailed Iguana (He is a fave of

A non-native, very large ash gray to gray-brown lizard with black mottling and a long spiny tail. Dark bars cross the back and the posterior half of the tail is banded. A row of enlarged mid-dorsal scales forms a low crest on the neck and a ridge down the back. Juveniles are bright green.

Introduced to the grounds of the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum
near Tucson in the 1970’s. It is still reproducing there, but apparently is no expanding its range, and only occasionally observed off the museum grounds.

Diurnal. Frequently seen basking on rock outcrops, boulders, cacti, and trees in its native Mexico. Has also been observed on walls and fences in areas of human habitation. When threatened it retreats into rock crevices or woodpecker holes and uses its spiny tail to block out predators. Juveniles are predominantly arboreal. Herbivorous, but occasionally eats invertabrates and has been documented eating rodents and Clark’s Spiny Lizards at ASDM.

Lays eggs from spring through early summer.

Interesting story, I had two of these before I new what they were! I was Asst Mgr. at a box Pet Store and we got them in as Club-tailed Iguanas. Well I specialized in reptiles and new that they were not what they were listed as. I am not an expert I will say now, but what I did know, I know! Anyway, I took them home due to them being to aggressive to sell and hard to handle for the majority of customers. I was too anal in who I sold reps to due to the lack of knowledge people were willing to hold on to much less spend to provide an appropriate habitat. I learned as much as I could and when I found out about the program at the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum
I was thrilled to finally be able to put a name to these reptiles. Later I found a docent who spent much time at the ASDM and donated them to the Museum. I was very happy to know that they were going to a great new home, more appropriate for them. Now when I go I always wonder if I am looking at the pair that I said farewell too!

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My goal is to get my name out there among the vast ocean of Natural photographers. To be known for my skill with a Point & Shoot~

My images are not photo shopped. They have only been adjusted with basic sharpening, contrasting & saturation techniques. I believe that in order to appreciate Nature, you have to capture it as it is, naturally.

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  • Gabrielle  Lees
    Gabrielle Leesalmost 4 years ago

    Hi Miss Kimberly, he’s a handsome devil! LOL!

    Gabe :)

    PS. You can keep him over there! Um me thinks I stay here! LOL!

  • LOL, c’mom honey, don’t ya want to capture one. They are such a handsome beast! Thank you, I will keep them here…..for a while longer ;)

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Gabrielle  Lees
    Gabrielle Leesalmost 4 years ago

    Hahhaha! Yeah you keep him there! :) We’ve got our own slithery beasties over here! LOL!

  • Dr. Harmeet Singh
    Dr. Harmeet Singhalmost 4 years ago

    oh ..nice one…great capture..

  • Thank you very much Sir!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Krys Bailey
    Krys Baileyalmost 4 years ago

    What a character, Kimberly! Lovely capture! Lovely backgound again too! ;o)

  • I was up close and personal with this guy, it was thrilling. I wondered if he was one of mine..hmmmm. Thank you my friend!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Bonnie Robert
    Bonnie Robertalmost 4 years ago

    He is so cool and I love the story about your rescuing those two. Hugsssssssssss

  • Thank you Bonnie so much!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

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