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Purely solitary?

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Posted by gigaber on May 06, 2003 at 11:07:45:

In Reply to: Baby HL found in southern AZ posted by Les4toads on May 05, 2003 at 20:43:50:

::I can see why there aren't many species of HL on the endangered list in AZ. I was on a hike yesterday in the Catalinas and we must have seen 30 in 4 hours. Most were in family groups, an I found one little fellow who was separated from his family and adopted it.

::From the internet, its ID is "Bull Horned Lizard". If it is the size of a quarter, would that make it a hatchling? I've had excellent success raising a baby bearded dragon, and have now purchased a separate 10Gal tank for the HL, with sand for burrowing (which it did immediately), some wood chips similar to the Catalina Mt environment, and a high-end UVA/B bulb.

::To minimize stress to the animal, do you recommend that I cover most of the tank glass with paper. I'm not sure if it's better that it gets used to motion in the room, or shelter it from stress?... I'm trying to feed it microscopic small black ants, but no luck so far (I'm only on day one, though). Please advise!


::Hello Chris. Which resource on the internet gave you the ID of "Bull Horned Lizard?" The only HL that has that ID is Phrynosoma taurus, and it is not found in Arizona but deep in Mexico. The horned lizards that are found in Arizona are the Regal Horned Lizard, Phrynosoma solare, the Roundtail Horned Lizard (in the southeast corner) Phrynosoma modestum, the Shorthorned Lizard, Phrynosoma hernandezi, the Texas Horned Lizard (in the southeast corner), Phrynosoma cornutum, the Flattail Horned Lizard (in the extreme southwest corner) Phrynosoma mcalli, and the Desert Horned Lizard, Phrynosoma platyrhinos.

:Horned lizards do not run in family groups. All species are solitary except during the spring mating season when male-female interaction takes place.

:The question if it is a hatchling or not is a good question. Hatching season is not for several more months. This is just the mating season at this time. Could it be a carry-over from last season's mating might be a better question. The ID is critical and the ID you present is not the horned lizard in the area you describe. If you have pictures, post or send me one for a positive ID and we can go from there. Care and requirements depend on the positive ID.

:Lester G. Milroy III

Maybe it was an incredible coincidence, but on that hike we had three sightings where there were more than one traveling together. Once it was a large adult and two smaller HLs (size of a quarter), and the other two times it was two of the smaller HLs running together. Is there any posibility that they are only quasi-solitary? I'm no expert (as you can probably tell from this dialog), but I do have some documented evidence of these groups (well, one picture). Once the photos are developed, I'll post them.

From all of the pictures I've seen posted on the web, the one I have resembles the phrynosoma platyrhinos the most. Thanks for the correction and help on ID, blackkat. I'll try to get a good picture but I don't have a macro setting on my cheapo digital camera.

Also: One of the quarter sized HLs that I spotted was a deep red color (as all the rest were light sand color). On the off-chance that it was rare or endangered, I didn't touch it and it burrowed before I could get a picture. Do some of the Desert Horned Lizards turn out red? Or is color a poor indicator of species?


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