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Aspidoscelis in Colorado

Posted: July 9th, 2020, 4:20 pm
by chris_mcmartin
Just going by gestalt, what species would you say this whiptail is? I don't want to give location yet, as it may influence the responses received. For now I'll just say that it was found in a county not listed for any of the five whiptail species in Colorado according to the range maps/county records on https://www.coloherps.org/ (I don't know how recently that site was updated).

Both pics are of the same individual. I only had my phone with me so these were the best photos I could muster.

Re: Aspidoscelis in Colorado

Posted: July 9th, 2020, 5:29 pm
by sdpete
Based on pure gestalt, and having only experienced AZ A. velox (and an introduced population in OR), and eastern A. sexlineatus, my vote is velox. A. sexlineatus, in my mind as a wide, often lighter colored, vertebral "space". Also, A. velox is parthenogenetic - so I wouldn't be surprised if more populations pop up in random places (like the established pop in OR).

That all being said, I'd love to hear what others think.

Cheers,
Peter

Re: Aspidoscelis in Colorado

Posted: July 10th, 2020, 11:34 am
by Jimi
As an extreme non-cnemidologist, and going by gestalt, I'm going with velox too. The very clean dark fields - no tesselations - are the main nudge (most cnemis have some degree of checkering). But I also live in a state with extremely low teiid species diversity, and velox lives here. So I'm primed for bias - I see what I expect to see, which in this case, is velox.

A complete lack of west-side / east-side info is pretty limiting. New adjacent-county records are pretty trivial (but still fine sport!) - whereas hopping the Southern Rockies is another thing entirely. What side of the hill?

Good to hear from you. I hope you are both well and content, in this season of illness and discontent.

Re: Aspidoscelis in Colorado

Posted: July 10th, 2020, 8:18 pm
by chris_mcmartin
Now that at least a couple of people have weighed in, both here and via email, A. velox is my thought as well. I saw a few individuals but only got pics of this one.
Jimi wrote:
July 10th, 2020, 11:34 am
A complete lack of west-side / east-side info is pretty limiting. New adjacent-county records are pretty trivial (but still fine sport!) - whereas hopping the Southern Rockies is another thing entirely. What side of the hill?
It was Chaffee County, on the west bank and surrounding small hills of the Arkansas River, at about 7200' above sea level. On the coloherps site, A. sexlineata seems bounded by the river in that area (without having more granular detail on the county records to the east), but it was interesting that the "expected range extensions" for A. velox seemed to cover an awful lot of real estate for even a parthenogenetic species to conquer since 1986, which is why I was not ready to commit to an ID without soliciting additional opinions.
Good to hear from you. I hope you are both well and content, in this season of illness and discontent.
Well? So far. Content? Meh. :lol: Hope you're doing OK too!