San Diego Alligator Lizard

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John Koerner
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San Diego Alligator Lizard

Post by John Koerner » August 17th, 2016, 7:35 am

Hi.

According to California Herps, the only species of Alligator Lizard found in the Los Angeles County mountain ranges is Elgaria multicarinata webbii.

I am putting together my own site, and the specimens I found in San Dimas Canyon match the description on the CA Herps site.

However, I recently photographed a specimen in Chantry Flats, CA which appears (to me at least) to be quite a bit different. Here is a close-up:

Image

While I realize there is color variation among species, I am just wanting to ask some of the more experienced herpers if this is indeed an E. m. webbii.

Thanks,

Jack

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Jeremy Wright
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Re: San Diego Alligator Lizard

Post by Jeremy Wright » August 17th, 2016, 7:42 am

Hi John. I'm in Claremont, so not too far away from you. It looks just like a webbii to me. Alligator lizards are common in my yard and larger individuals I see often have the red and look similar to the one in your photo. Beautiful specimen and picture! San Dimas Canyon is a cool place.
-Jeremy

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John Koerner
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Re: San Diego Alligator Lizard

Post by John Koerner » August 17th, 2016, 8:02 am

Jeremy Wright wrote:Hi John. I'm in Claremont, so not too far away from you. It looks just like a webbii to me. Alligator lizards are common in my yard and larger individuals I see often have the red and look similar to the one in your photo. Beautiful specimen and picture! San Dimas Canyon is a cool place.
-Jeremy
Hi Jeremy, thanks for your response.

I was lucky he ran from the trail into the leaves and "froze" (thinking he was camouflaged), so I was able to compose and get a decent shot.

BTW, I go hiking at the Claremont Loop as well :)

A lot more people there, but it's a nice hike also.

Maybe we could go herping sometime.

I just moved back from FL a couple years ago, but my folks have lived in La Verne the last 28 years.

From Arcadia, originally.

Jack

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Jeremy Wright
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Re: San Diego Alligator Lizard

Post by Jeremy Wright » August 17th, 2016, 12:18 pm

That's awesome! I live only a couple miles from the parking lot so I often mountain bike off the loop and Webb Canyon. But as you said too many people. I almost got into a fight with a guy there who had a large striped racer in a water bottle. :roll: Once you get away from the people and higher in elevation there are some really cool things!
I would love to go herping sometime, that would be awesome. My school starts pretty soon so I'll be busy most days but I'll pm you sometime!
-Jeremy

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John Koerner
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Re: San Diego Alligator Lizard

Post by John Koerner » August 17th, 2016, 2:56 pm

Jeremy Wright wrote:That's awesome! I live only a couple miles from the parking lot so I often mountain bike off the loop and Webb Canyon. But as you said too many people.
-Jeremy
Yeah, I pretty much go there only to walk my dog now, not so much to "see stuff," but to give her a chance to enjoy herself.

Jeremy Wright wrote:I almost got into a fight with a guy there who had a large striped racer in a water bottle. :roll:
It's even worse at Chantry Flats. So many people ...

I had a similar run in, was hiking Chantry and crossed paths with (what seemed to be) a cool dude, and so I said, "Hey, have you seen any snakes?", since he was coming back from where I was going.

He said, "No, thank God. Killed a rattlesnake yesterday, though ..."

My thoughts turned to: "I wonder if anyone would hear him scream, if I rushed him off the edge of the cliff? ..." :evil:

Discretion got the better of me though :lol:


Jeremy Wright wrote:Once you get away from the people and higher in elevation there are some really cool things!
That is good to know, thanks.

I will pack a lunch and plan a much longer hike then (and leave the dog at home).

I am also into bird photography, since getting a long lens, so I will probably leave very early on the way out (5:30 am) when it's cool and try to get birds/deer, etc. ... and come back when it warms up and see what herps are coming out to lay on the trail 8-)

Jeremy Wright wrote:I would love to go herping sometime, that would be awesome. My school starts pretty soon so I'll be busy most days but I'll pm you sometime!
-Jeremy
All right, sounds like a plan. I just tagged you on your Flickr account, and here is my FB account:

https://www.facebook.com/JohnAKoernerII

Jack

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Jeremy Wright
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Re: San Diego Alligator Lizard

Post by Jeremy Wright » August 17th, 2016, 9:27 pm

Hi Jack,
Oh god. People and their rattlesnake killing stories :roll:
If you haven't already, try looking up baldy road. There is a pair of golden eagles that like to land on the wooden power line poles near the road.
Thank you for the flickr tag! We'll talk soon for sure.
-Jeremy

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Fieldnotes
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Re: San Diego Alligator Lizard

Post by Fieldnotes » August 18th, 2016, 10:29 am

Image
This is an old image from the eastern Sierra Nevada. It has much of the same red and it was found among cedar pine needles. Others with similar color have been found elsewhere in California, especially at higher elevations.

RobertH
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Re: San Diego Alligator Lizard

Post by RobertH » August 18th, 2016, 11:10 am

Hi John, it ooks like you already got a good answer from fieldnotes and Jeremy, but here's an Elgaria multicarinata webii reel :D

ImageSan Diego Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata webbii) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

ImageSan Diego Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata webbii) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

Imagean Diego Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata webbii) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

ImageSan Diego Alligator Iizard by NicholasHess, on Flickr

Image5742983644468991810 by NicholasHess, on Flickr

ImageSan Diego Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata webbii) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

ImageSan Diego Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata webbii) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

ImageSan Diego Alligator Lizard by NicholasHess, on Flickr

ImageSan Diego Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata webbii) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

Here are a couple recent ones. These are the most unique two I have ever seen:

ImageSan Diego Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata webbii) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

ImageSan Diego Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata webbii) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

I love the variability in alligator lizards. I hope this helps a little! If anybody else has cool SD alligator lizards that are unique let's see them!

Happy herping! Nicholas

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John Koerner
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Re: San Diego Alligator Lizard

Post by John Koerner » August 18th, 2016, 3:40 pm

Fieldnotes wrote: This is an old image from the eastern Sierra Nevada. It has much of the same red and it was found among cedar pine needles. Others with similar color have been found elsewhere in California, especially at higher elevations.
Thank you for the information.

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John Koerner
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Re: San Diego Alligator Lizard

Post by John Koerner » August 18th, 2016, 3:46 pm

RobertH wrote:Hi John, it ooks like you already got a good answer from fieldnotes and Jeremy, but here's an Elgaria multicarinata webii reel :D

I love the variability in alligator lizards. I hope this helps a little! If anybody else has cool SD alligator lizards that are unique let's see them!

Happy herping! Nicholas
Wow, truly stunning, high-quality images!!

Thank you for sharing and showing their amazing diversity :thumb:

I am unusually drawn to Alligator Lizards; they're very tough and aggressive, and will fight to the last if attacked.
(Many lizards "give up" if a snake gets them, but I have seen these guys crush eye shields on racers and kings, or otherwise attach themselves to the face, and escape.)

Their coloration and fierce disposition have always intrigued me too :beer:

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