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2- Aspidoscelis genus  :

Speciation :


In 2011, it was announced that a parthenogenetic hybrid Aspidocelis was bred in the laboratory.[4] This serves as a demonstration of how other hybrid parthenogens in this genus may have arisen.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Aspidoscelis is a genus of whiptail lizards in the family Teiidae.



Scientific classification :






Fitzinger, 1843

Species :

Over 40,  

Taxonomy :


The nomenclature for the genus Aspidoscelis was published by T.W. Reeder et al. in 2002. Many species that were formerly included in the genus Cnemidophorus are now considered Aspidoscelis based upon divergent characters between the two groups.


Etymology :


The name Aspidoscelis literally means "shield-leg", from the Ancient Greek aspido- ("shield") and skelos ("leg").[2]

Species :


The following species are recognized as being valid.[1][3]


  • Aspidoscelis angusticeps (Cope, 1878)

  • Aspidoscelis arizonae (Van Denburgh, 1896)

  • Aspidoscelis burti (E.H. Taylor, 1938)

  • Aspidoscelis calidipes (Duellman, 1955)

  • Aspidoscelis ceralbensis (Van Denburgh & Slevin, 1921)

  • Aspidoscelis communis (Cope, 1878)

  • Aspidoscelis costata (Cope, 1878)

  • Aspidoscelis cozumelae (Gadow, 1906)

  • Aspidoscelis danheimae (Burt, 1929)

  • Aspidoscelis deppei (Wiegmann, 1834)

  • Aspidoscelis dixoni (Scudday, 1973)

  • Aspidoscelis exsanguis (Lowe, 1956)

  • Aspidoscelis flagellicauda (Lowe & Wright, 1964)

  • Aspidoscelis gularis (Baird & Girard, 1852)

  • Aspidoscelis guttata (Wiegmann, 1834)

  • Aspidoscelis hyperythra (Cope, 1864)

  • Aspidoscelis inornata (Baird, 1859)

  • Aspidoscelis labialis (Stejneger, 1890)

  • Aspidoscelis laredoensis (McKinney, Kay & R. Anderson, 1973)

  • Aspidoscelis lineattissima (Cope, 1878)

  • Aspidoscelis marmorata (Baird & Girard, 1852)

  • Aspidoscelis maslini (Fritts, 1969)

  • Aspidoscelis maxima (Cope, 1864)

  • Aspidoscelis mexicana (W. Peters, 1869)

  • Aspidoscelis motaguae (Sackett, 1941)

  • Aspidoscelis neavesi Cole, H.L. Taylor, D. Baumann & P. Baumann, 2014

  • Aspidoscelis neomexicana (Lowe & Zweifel, 1952)

  • Aspidoscelis neotesselata (Walker, Cordes & H.L. Taylor, 1997)

  • Aspidoscelis opatae (Wright, 1967)

  • Aspidoscelis pai (Wright & Lowe, 1993)

  • Aspidoscelis parvisocia (Zweifel, 1960)

  • Aspidoscelis picta (Van Denburgh & Slevin, 1921)

  • Aspidoscelis rodecki (C.J. McCoy & Maslin, 1962)

  • Aspidoscelis sackii (Wiegmann, 1834)

  • Aspidoscelis scalaris (Cope, 1892)

  • Aspidoscelis septemvittata (Cope, 1892)

  • Aspidoscelis sexlineata (Linnaeus, 1766)

  • Aspidoscelis sonorae (Lowe & Wright, 1964)

  • Aspidoscelis stictogramma (Burger, 1950)

  • Aspidoscelis tesselata (Say, 1823)

  • Aspidoscelis tigris (Baird & Girard, 1852)

  • Aspidoscelis uniparens (Wright & Lowe, 1965)

  • Aspidoscelis velox (Springer, 1928)

  • Aspidoscelis xanthonota (Duellman & Lowe, 1953)

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Aspidoscelis.

For the external links , refrences  click here to read the full wikipedia article 

Video : 


Species  :


(  This Genus not yet famous as a pet lizards - below some information about the species which is show some coloration and unique shape which give a chance to be a pet lizards in the future ) 

1- The desert grassland whiptail lizard (Aspidoscelis uniparens) :

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia :


The desert grassland whiptail lizard (Aspidoscelis uniparens) is an all-female species of reptiles. It was formerly placed in the genus Cnemidophorus. A. uniparens have limited social stimuli, having only two basic needs: finding food and avoiding predators.[2] A common predator of the whiptail lizard is the leopard lizard, that prey on A. uniparens by using ambush and stalk haunting tactics.[3][4][5] These reptiles reproduce by parthenogenesis. In this process, eggs undergo a chromosome doubling after meiosis, developing into lizards without being fertilized. However, ovulation is enhanced by female-female courtship and "mating" (pseudo-copulation) rituals that resemble the behavior of closely related species that reproduce sexually.[6][7][8]

Desert Grassland Whiptail

Conservation status :





Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]

Scientific classification :







Species:A. uniparens

Binomial name :

Aspidoscelis uniparens
(Wright & Lowe, 1965)

Synonyms :

Cnemidophorus uniparens Wright & Lowe, 1965

Description :


The desert grassland whiptail lizard is a relatively small reptile, whose size ranges from 2¾ inches (69 mm) to 5¼ inches (137 mm).[9] Desert grassland whiptails are very long and slim, with a thin tail that is longer than their body length. Their distinct identifying feature are the six yellowish lines that run the length of their body. The majority of the whiptail's body tends to be an olive or brown colour that fades to a faint blue or gray on their tail. Comparatively, an adolescent's tail is a very bright and vibrant blue.[10] Their bodies are lined with small coarse scales, which gradually get larger as they approach the tail. The scales on their bellies are much larger in size and are much smoother as well.


Taxonomy :


The taxonomy of the genus was unknown until the 1950s to early '60's. A 1958 report confirmed that no male lizards had been discovered in a collection of specimens of C. tesselatus. That very year, parthenogenesis was confirmed in the genus Lacerta of the family Lacertidae. Soon after, researchers discovered that there were also no males in C. exsanguis, C. neomexicanus, or C. velox.[11] 

Rather than subsume all cnemidophorine species into a single large genus, Lowe and Wright proposed a split that placed the North American "Cnemidophorus" clade in the monophyletic genus Aspidoscelis. Under this arrangement, South American taxa remain in the genus Cnemidophorus.[1]


Habitat :


The desert grassland whiptail is mostly found in the deserts of southern to central Arizona and along the Rio Grande river in New Mexico. It is also found in the deserts of northern Mexico. A. uniparens is commonly found in low valleys, grasslands, and slight slopes. Some have argued that the species' range is expanding due to overgrazing. A. uniparens are scarce in developed areas, especially where homeowners keep livestock.[12]


Hybridization and reproduction :


All desert grassland whiptail lizards are female. Their reproduction process does not need male fertilization, although researchers observed pseudo-copulation that promotes fertilization during ovulation. This process involves the alternation between male-typical and female-typical sexual behaviors, driven by progesterone, in both lizards; corresponding to the state of their partner.[13] The lizards reproduce by parthenogenesis, but offspring do not necessarily have the same chromosomes as their mother. This is because the lizards start off with twice the amount of chromosomes as would be found in sexually reproducing individuals. This diversity is maintained by combining sister chromatids instead of pairing homologous chromosomes, thus allowing a recombination and genetic diversity. Current studies suggest that the lizards may be able to distinguish between homologous chromosomes and sister chromatids.[14] The lizard is a triploid unisexual species that reproduce asexually. The lizards were a result from a cross breed of two bisexual species, A. inornata and A. burti. This then produced a diploid unisexual, which backcrossed to inornata and produced triploid uniparens.


Food habits :


For the most part, the lizards eat spiders, termites, antlions, beetles, and short-horned grasshoppers. Their dominant foods vary little over time. Research suggests that this may be because "sexual variation was more evident; it may act to reduce intraspecific competition for food resources and may be associated with secondary sexual size dimorphism."[15]

For the external links , refrences  click here to read the full wikipedia article 

Video : 

Pseudosexual behavior in the all-female desert grasslands whiptail (Cnemidophorus uniparens)

 DESERT GRASSLAND WHIPTAIL  Aspidoscelis uniparen

courtesy to :

DESCRIPTION: A small (up to 86 mm or 3.3" from snout to vent), slim, dark brown lizard with a long, thin tail, and a slim, pointed snout. The body is marked with six yellow to cream stripes. Some individuals have a partial seventh stripe on the top of the neck. The tail is a muted blue-gray or olive color. The underside is plain and pale. Some adults have a faint pale-blue tint on the throat and sides of face. Juveniles have a bright blue tail. The scales on the body are small and granular. The scales on the tail are large, keeled, and rectangular. The belly scales are large, smooth, and rectangular. The scales on top of the head are large, smooth, and plate-like.

DISTRIBUTION: This lizard is found in southeastern Arizona and across central Arizona below the Mogollon Rim. It occurs at elevations ranging from about 3,000' to over 6,500'. 


HABITAT: Primarily an inhabitant of Semidesert Grassland but also follows drainages up into Interior Chaparral and the woodland communities. Frequents low valleys, mesquite-lined riparian corridors, floodplains, and moderate slopes. It is often encountered in disturbed areas and may be expanding its range as a result of overgrazing. 

BEHAVIOR: This is an alert, diurnal, fast-moving ground-dweller. It is often encountered foraging or basking in the mid-morning or late afternoon sun. It hibernates during the cold months of fall and winter. 

DIET: It actively forages by rooting around in organic matter under bushes and by digging in the soil around the bases of rocks and other surface debris. It feeds on termites and other insects. 

REPRODUCTION: All Desert Grassland Whiptails are female (parthenogenetic). Eggs are unfertilized and hatchlings are clones of the mother. Two or three clutches of eggs are laid in spring and summer. Clutch size ranges from 1 to 4 eggs. 

By Thomas C. Brennan

Its lack of spots distinguishes this lizard from many Arizona whiptails. Its relatively muted tail coloration distinguishes it from the similar looking Plateau Striped Whiptail. Its muted tail coloration combined with a lack of blue coloration on the feet and underside distinguish it from the Arizona Striped Whiptail and Pai Striped Whiptail. 

Brennan, T. C., & A. T. Holycross. 2006. A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in Arizona. Arizona Game and Fish Department. Phoenix, AZ

Brennan, T. C., & A. T. Holycross. 2005. A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Maricopa County. Arizona Game and Fish Department. Phoenix, AZ

Degenhardt, W. G., Painter, C. W., and Price, A. H.. 1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque.

Stebbins, R.C. 2003. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Desert grassland whiptail

courtesy to :

Location at the Zoo: Americas

Region: Central America

Class:  Reptilia

Order:  Sqaumata

Family:  Teiidae

Genus:  Aspidoscelis

Scientific Name:  Aspidoscelis uniparens 

Description :

This all-female species has a head and body length of 86 mm in adults, with a tail about two and a half times longer. The body is dark (olive, to brown, to black) with six to seven cream/white stripes running from head to tail. Its abdomen is light in colour. In hatchlings, the tail is bright blue but it fades over time to the blue-green to dark green shade of the adults’ tails. These lizards are diurnal but most active in the early morning and late afternoon.


Distribution :

Desert grasslands and semi-desert grasslands of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.


Habitat :

Desert and semi-desert grasslands at elevations of up to one kilometre.


Food :

Desert grassland whiptails are opportunistic feeders, eating a wide variety of insects, including ants and termites, as well as insect larvae.


Reproduction and Development :

Desert whiptails reproduce by parthenogenesis: there is no sexual reproduction because this species contains only females! What occurs is this: Meiosis is a process of cell division. After meiosis, the nucleus of the parent cell (the nucleus is the component of a cell responsible for growth and cell division) has divided twice and formed a total of four daughter cells (called “gametes”). After meiosis has occurred, those four gametes undergo chromosome doubling (chromosomes are the part of a nucleus that carry the DNA and proteins which are responsible for heredity). Because all of the chromosomes come from the mother, all of her offspring are clones, and all are female. Some females do express male-like behaviour, and even initiate pseudo-copulation with another female. In captivity, this act seems to stimulate reproduction, but it’s not known if the behaviour has the same significance in the wild. Females are sexually mature at about 60mm head and body length. They lay one-to-three clutches of eggs in the late spring or early summer (each clutch contains one-to-four eggs). Clutch size depends on the size of the female. The eggs incubate about two months before hatching.


Adaptations :

 This all-female species of lizard originally resulted from the hybridization of two other species of whiptail: Texas spotted whiptail, and little striped whiptail. Most parthenogenetic whiptails are the result of the hybridization of two sexually reproductive species of whiptail, so the ability of these all-female populations to reproduce is a significant adaptation which allowed the new species to survive. Unlike bisexual species, where a significant portion of the adults are male, every adult whiptail is a female and able to lay eggs. On the “plus”, this means that the species can reproduce twice as quickly as whiptail species that reproduce sexually, thus allowing for a very quick increase in population, or in repopulation. The negative side of parthenogenesis is that very little genetic diversity exists. Because the entire population is so genetically similar, any biological- (i.e. disease) or environmental threat (such as climate change) to an individual is a threat to the entire species.


Whiptails that are captured by the tail will shed part of the tail structure and thus be able to flee. The detached tail will continue to wiggle, creating a deceptive sense of continued struggle and attracting the predator's attention away from the fleeing prey animal. The animal can partially re-grow its tail over a period of weeks. The new section will contain cartilage instead of bone, and it may be shorter and discoloured compared to the original. The technical term for this ability to drop the tail is caudal autotomy.


Threats to Survival :

Preyed upon by birds (raptors), coyotes, and snakes.

Status :

IUCN: Least Concern; CITES: Not Listed 

Zoo Diet :

Crickets, mealworms.



 Aspidoscelis  :  Part One  ..  Part Two   ..  Part Three  ..


                             Part Four  ..  Part Five  ..  Part Six ....


 Aspidoscelis  :  Part One  ..  Part Two   ..  Part Three  ..


                             Part Four  ..  Part Five  ..  Part Six ....

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