When hiking at Red Rock Canyon, visitors often spot common side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) scurrying around rocks. These lizards are small, measuring only 2.5 inches long (head & body, not including tail) and often feature tiny speckles and spots. Common side-blotched lizards diet on small insects & spiders and breed in late winter & early spring.

Depending on what color a male’s throat is, it will determine reproduction behavior. Orange-throated males are ultra-dominate toward any other male lizard and defend large territories; blue-throated males are dominate towards yellow-throated lizards but work together with other blue-throated males to defend territories; yellow-throated males are sneaky and try to mate with females while orange-throated males are spread across their large territories. Biologists often refer to it as a live action rock-paper-scissors game!

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