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Uta stansburiana BAIRD & GIRARD, 1852

IUCN Red List - Uta stansburiana - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaPhrynosomatidae, Sceloporinae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesUta stansburiana elegans YARROW 1882
Uta stansburiana martinensis VAN DENBURGH 1905
Uta stansburiana nevadensis RUTHVEN 1913
Uta stansburiana stansburiana BAIRD & GIRARD 1852
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri SCHMIDT 1921
Uta stansburiana taylori SMITH 1935
Uta stansburiana uniformis PACK & TANNER 1970 
Common NamesE: Side-blotched Lizard
elegans: Western or California Side-blotched Lizard
nevadensis: Nevada Side-blotched Lizard
stansburiana: Northern Side-blotched Lizard
stejnegeri: Desert Side-blotched Lizard, Eastern Side-blotched Lizard
uniformis: Colorado Side-blotched Lizard
concinna: Dickerson's Side-blotched Lizard
S: Mancha lateral Común 
SynonymUta stansburiana BAIRD & GIRARD 1852: 344
Uta stansburiana — BOULENGER 1885: 211
Uta stellata VAN DENBURGH 1905 (fide GRISMER 1999)
Uta mannophorus DICKERSON 1919: 470
Uta concinna DICKERSON 1919: 470
Uta concinna — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 150
Uta stellata — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 150
Uta antiquus BALLINGER & TINKLE 1968 (fide GRISMER 1999)
Uta stansburiana — STEBBINS 1985: 135
Uta stellata — LINER 1994
Uta antiqua — LINER 1994
Uta stansburiana — LINER 1994
Uta stansburiana — CROTHER et al. 2012
Uta stansburiana — LIVIGNI 2013: 385
Uta antiqua — LEMOS-ESPINAL 2015
Uta stansburiana — HEIMES 2022

Uta stansburiana elegans YARROW 1882
Uta elegans YARROW 1882: 442
Uta elegans — BOULENGER 1885: 211
Uta stansburiana hesperis RICHARDSON 1915: 415
Uta parva DICKERSON 1919: 471 (fide ZWEIFEL 1958)
Uta concinnea [sic] DICKERSON 1919 (fide ZWEIFEL 1958)
Uta stansburiana elegans — VAN DENBURGH 1922: 240 (part.)
Uta stansburiana hesperis — SMITH 1946
Uta stansburiana elegans — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 148
Uta stansburiana hesperis — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 149
Uta stansburiana hesperis — MURRAY 1955: 38
Uta stansburiana elegans — ZWEIFEL 1958
Uta stansburiana hesperis — ETHERIDGE 1964
Uta stansburiana elegans — LEVITON & BANTA 1964
Uta stansburiana hesperis — ETHERIDGE 1964: 612
Uta stansburiana hesperis — ETHERIDGE 1967: 710
Uta stansburiana elegans — DUNHAM et al. 1978
Uta stansburiana elegans — CROTHER 2000: 55
Uta stansburiana elegans — CROTHER et al. 2012

Uta stansburiana martinensis VAN DENBURGH 1905
Uta stansburiana martinensis — ZWEIFEL 1958

Uta stansburiana nevadensis RUTHVEN 1913
Uta stansburiana nevadensis — RUTHVEN & GAIGE 1915: 18
Uta stansburiana nevadensis — CROTHER 2000: 55
Uta stansburiana nevadensis — CROTHER et al. 2012

Uta stansburiana stejnegeri SCHMIDT 1921
Uta stansburiana elegans RICHARDSON 1915
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri SCHMIDT 1921 (nom. nov.)
Uta stansburiana elegans — VAN DENBURGH 1922: 240 (part.)
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri — SMITH 1935
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri — GLOYD 1937
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri — TAYLOR 1938: 483
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri — KLAUBER 1939
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri — SCHMIDT & OWENS 1944
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri — SMITH 1946
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri — JAMESON & FLURY 1949
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 150
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri — WILLIAMS et al. 1960
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri — TANNER 1987
Uta stejnegeri — COLLINS 1991: 43
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 111
Uta stejnegeri — LINER 1994
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri — CROTHER 2000
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri — LINER 2007
Uta stansburiana stejnegeri — CROTHER et al. 2012

Uta stansburiana stellata VAN DENBURGH 1905
Uta stansburiana stellata — ZWEIFEL 1958
Uta stellata — LINER 2007

Uta stansburiana taylori SMITH 1935
Uta taylori SMITH 1935
Uta taylori — TAYLOR 1938: 482
Uta stansburiana klauberi LOWE & NORRIS 1955 (fide BALLINGER & TINKLE)
Uta stansburiana taylori — DUNHAM et al. 1978
Uta stansburiana taylori — LINER 2007
Uta stansburiana taylori — REYES et al. 2014

Uta stansburiana uniformis PACK & TANNER 1970
Uta stansburiana uniformis — CROTHER 2000: 55
Uta stansburiana uniformis — CROTHER et al. 2012 
DistributionUSA (Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, W Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, W Texas),
Mexico (Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, NE Durango, Coahuila)

antiqua (invalid): Mexico (Baja California: San Lorenzo Norte, San Lorenzo Sur, Salsipuedes Islands, Gulf of California); Type locality: Isla Salsipuedes, 28°44′ N, 112°59′ W, Golfo de California, Mexico.

concinna (invalid): Mexico (Cerros = Cedros Island, Natividad Islands, Baja California); Type locality: Cerros [= Cedros] Island, Baja California. [see comment]

elegans: Mexico (Southern two-thirds of Baja California and on Smiths, Mejía, Angel de la guarda, Isla Partida, Isla Raza, Sal Si Puedes, North San Lorenzo, South San Lorenzo, Tortuga, San Marcos, Ildefonso, East and West Las Galeras, Montserrate, San José, San Francisco, Espíritu Santo, Ballena Island.) Type locality: La Paz, Baja California.

hesperis (invalid): Mexico (Baja California), USA (California); Type locality: Arroyo Seco Cañon, near Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California.

martinensis: Mexico (San Martin Island, Baja California.)

nevadensis: Nevada; Type locality: NEvada, Cortez Range, W Carlin.

stansburiana: Nevada, Utah (Brennan in Jones & Lovich 2009: 294).

stejnegeri: USA (Trans-Pecos Texas, parts of the Texas panhandle, through S Nevada to E California, SW Oklahoma, New Mexico, SE Arizona); Mexico (NE Baja California, Sonora to W Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua); Type locality: Mouth of Dry Cañon, Alamogordo, Otero County, N. Mex.

stellata (invalid): Mexico (San Benito Island, Gulf of California. Type locality: San Benito Island.)

taylori: Mexico (Sonora)  
TypesSyntypes: USNM 2753 (4) (stansburiana)
Holotype: UMMZ 127386 [antiquus]
Holotype: USNM 64257, given as AMNH [concinna]
Holotype: USNM 12666, syntype: INHS (= UIMNH) 40751 [elegans]
Holotype: MVZ; Paratypes: UINMH, CAS-SU [hesperis]
Holotype: AMNH 5447, now maybe USNM ? [mannophorus]
Holotype: SDNHM = SDSNH [klauberi]
Holotype: CAS-SUR 4698; R. H. Beck collector. [martinensis]
Holotype: AMNH 348 (not 384) [stejnegeri]
Holotype: CAS 4704 [stellata]
Holotype: UMMZ 43848 [nevadensis]
Holotype: FMNH 100097 [taylori]
Holotype: USNM 64258, originally published as AMNH R5428, male [parva]

Holotype: BYU 10035, collected by WW Tanner 1950. [uniformis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): “Enlarged supraoculars in a single row; superciliaries 4-6; dorsals fewer than 150 and never including enlarged vertebrals or paravertebrals; ventrals fewer than 90; supranasals always present; subcaudals keeled only on posterior one-third of tail; keels on caudal scales approximately one-half the length of the scale and higher at the posterior aspect, not producing continuous ridges the length of the tail; total femoral pores 21-37; interfemorals 4-20; three sternal ribs.” (Ballinger & Tinkle 1972: 20) 
CommentSynonymy: VAN DENBURGH 1922: 228 and Barbour & Loveridge 1946 listed Uta s. nevadensis as a synonym of U. stansburiana. GRISMER 1999 synonymized Uta stellata and Uta antiqua with stansburiana because he couldn’t find any characters that consistently differentiate these forms. Uta concinna seems to be undistinguishable from U. stansburiana (fide WIENS et al. 2013 [supplement] although we do not know of any formal synonymization). We don’t have a formal synonymization of U. s. hesperis either but but base its synonym on its type locality in California and the currently recognized subspecies (elegans) in this area following Jones & Lovich et al. 1999.

Color variation: Corl et al. 2018 identified 2 genes involved in coloration and habitat adaptation in this species.

Subspecies: Brennan in Jones & Lovich (2009: 294) recognizes 5 subspecies (elegans, stansburiana, stejnegeri, nevadensis, and uniformis) but not martinensis and taylori. KLUGE 1984: 46 listed nevadensis as synonym of stansburiana. Corl et al. 2010 investigated the relationships of stansburiana, elegans, stejnegeri, and squamata with the latter nested within populations of elegans and steinegeri.

Distribution partly following SMITH & TAYLOR 1950. See map in Brennan in Jones & Lovich (2009: 294).

Type species: Uta stansburiana BAIRD & GIRARD 1852 is the type species of the genus Uta BAIRD & GIRARD 1852.

Diet: a large percentage of the diet of this species (10-30%) consists of ants (Lucas et al. 2023). 
EtymologyNamed after Howard Stansbury, an explorer in the Army Corps of Engineers who led a famous expedition to study the flora and fauna of what’s now Utah and collected the type specimens of this lizard. However, while Stansbury was an influential naturalist, he was also a terrible person—he was a vocal supporter of and played a key role in a locally-infamous massacre of Timpanogos Native Americans in which more than 100 were killed (Shiffman 2019).

U. s. stejnegeri was named after Leonhard Hess Stejneger (1851-1943), Norwegian-born herpetologist who moved to the US in 1881 and became curator of reptiles at the Smithsonian Institution in 1889. 
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