Mighty morphing tree lizards

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Camouflage: use of colors and patterns to blend into the surrounding area in order to hide... more

Predator: an animal that eats other animals to survive. For example, a lion is a predator... more

Tree lizards (Urosaurus ornatus) are among the most common lizards in the southwestern United States. You can often find them warming themselves in a sunny spot on a tree, fence, or wall, waiting for an insect snack to come crawling or flying by. Males have bright blue bellies and colored dewlaps. Females have orange dewlaps, but no blue belly patches. Look on your backyard fence for tree lizards in the summer.

Lizards - Blue Morph
Lizard - Green Morph
Tree lizards come in different color types (morphs). On the left is a blue morph and on the right is a green morph. Images by Brad and Lynn Weinert.
Tree lizard dulap colors
Tree lizard pattern
A close look at the underside of a tree lizard that is showing off come bright orange and blue color (left) and its great camouflage pattern that makes it hard for its predators to see (right). Images by Tom McDonald.
Tree Lizard on a tree
Tree lizard camouflage in action. Two places you are likely to see these lizards, a rock (left) and their favorite hang out, a tree (right). Images by Brad and Lynn Weinert (left) and Tom McDonald (right).

About the photographers: Brad and Lynn Weinert are nature photographers. You can see more of their work at Brad and Lynn's Field Photos (herpindiego.com). Tom McDonald is a Docent Instructor at Tohono Chul Park. These photographs are copyrighted and used with their permission.

Gold box image of ornate tree lizard via Wikimedia Commons by Leyo.

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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Tree Lizard Gallery
  • Author(s): Danika Painter
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: September 16, 2009
  • Date accessed: July 15, 2024
  • Link: https://askabiologist.asu.edu/tree-lizard-gallery

APA Style

Danika Painter. (2009, September 16). Tree Lizard Gallery. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved July 15, 2024 from https://askabiologist.asu.edu/tree-lizard-gallery

American Psychological Association. For more info, see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/

Chicago Manual of Style

Danika Painter. "Tree Lizard Gallery". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 16 September, 2009. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/tree-lizard-gallery

MLA 2017 Style

Danika Painter. "Tree Lizard Gallery". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 16 Sep 2009. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 15 Jul 2024. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/tree-lizard-gallery

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/
Urosaurus ornatus

Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus).

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