You are here » home search results Aspidoscelis tesselatus

Aspidoscelis tesselatus (SAY, 1822)

Can you confirm these amateur observations of Aspidoscelis tesselatus?

Add your own observation of
Aspidoscelis tesselatus »

Find more photos by Google images search: Google images

Higher TaxaTeiidae, Teiinae, Gymnophthalmoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Common Checkered Whiptail, Diploid Colorado checkered whiptail
S: Huico Teselado 
SynonymAmeiva tesselata SAY 1822: 50
Cnemidophorus tesselatus — SMITH & BURGER 1949: 282
Cnemidophorus grahamii BAIRD & GIRARD 1852: 128
Cnemidophorus sex-lineatus var. tesselata — GÜNTHER 1885: 26
Cnemidophorus grahamii — MOCQUARD 1899: 315
Cnemidophorus tesselatus — VAN DENBURGH & SLEVIN 1921
Cnemidophorus grahamii — JAMESON & FLURY 1949
Cnemidophorus tesselatus — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 188
Cnemidophorus tesselatus dixoni — STEBBINS 1985: 163
Cnemidophorus tesselatus — STEBBINS 1985: 163
Cnemidophorus tesselatus — MASLIN & SECOY 1986
Cnemidophorus tesselatus — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 124
Cnemidophorus tesselatus — LINER 1994
Cnemidophorus grahami — DEGENHARDT et al. 1996
Aspidoscelis tesselata — REEDER et al. 2002
Aspidoscelis tesselata — COOPER et al. 2005
Aspidoscelis tesselata — JONES & LOVICH 2009: 390
Aspidoscelis tesselata — CROTHER et al. 2012
Aspidoscelis tesselatus — PYRON & BURBRINK 2013 
DistributionUSA (SE Colorado, New Mexico, W Texas, Nevada),
Mexico (NE Chihuahua, Coahuila)

Type locality: Arkansas River, near Castle Rock Creek, Colorado (= Beaver Creek, Fremont County). Neotype locality: juniper-grass/weed habitat with rocky soil at Higbee, Comanche National Grassland, Vogel Canyon Picnic Area and Trailhead, 22.3 km south of La Junta by Colorado Highway 109 to road 802, then 2.24 km west, then 2.4 km south to the trailhead and picnic area, Otero County, Colorado.  
ReproductionOviparous. Parthenogenetic diploid species. Most populations of this species arose by hybridization between C. tigris marmoratus and C. septemvittatus. Populations in SC-Colorado have resulted from futher hybridization with C. sexlineatus fide STEBBINS 1985. 
TypesNeotype: AMNH 141903, mature female, designated by Walker et al. 1997. Holotype: lost (fide SMITH & TAYLOR 1950)
Lectotype: USNM 3046 [grahamii]
Holotype: TCWC 40691; paratypes: TCWC, UCM, LACM, SRSU [dixoni] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (tesselatus): “A parthenogenetic species of Cnemidophorus with the following dorsal color pattern features: SCPV, gray-tan to tan or gold, irregular in outline, interrupted, and/or fused with bars; CNVL, gray-tan to tan (absent in some forms) single irregular or doubled to partly doubled; SCLS, gray irregular and/or interrupted and fused with spots and/ or bars (integrity of lateral stripes may be partly or entirely lost in ontogeny of dorsal pattern); PSDL, spots either longitudinally fused into a supernumerary line or transversely expanded into bars; PDST, profusely spotted with some spots fused; PST, spotted and/or reticulated; and TP, black spots (scales) variable in number, size, and intensity by pattern class; scattered rather than arranged in the appearance of extensions of the dorsolateral and vertebral fields past the base of the tail (where sympatric with triploid pattern classes). Meristically distinct in the context of the preceding features of color pattern as follows: PAB, granular to slightly enlarged; MS, enlarged at the edge of the gular fold; COS, character states II, III, or IV (Zweifel, 1965) and LSG, count >30. (Walker et al. 1997)

Description of the neotype (tesselatus): Walker et al. 1997: 245 
CommentSynonymy: A. dixoni has been considered as a synonym of A. tesselatus but recent authors appear to consider it as a valid species.

Distribution: Records from Mexico are not reliable according to SMITH & TAYLOR 1950. See also discussion in CROTHER 2000. Not listed for New Mexico by Degenhardt et al. 1996. Also reported from Arizona by Gloyd 1937. See map in Jones & Lovich 2009 
EtymologyNamed after Latin tesselatus = checkered, tiled, in reference to the mosaic adult color pattern. 
  • Baird, S.F. and Girard,C. 1852. Characteristics of some new reptiles in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, part 2. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 6: 125-129 - get paper here
  • Bartlett, R. D. & Bartlett, P. 1999. A Field Guide to Texas Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Co., Houston, Texas, 331 pp.
  • Burt, C. E. 1931. A study of the teiid lizards of the genus Cnemidophorus with special reference to their phylogenetic relationships. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 154: 286 pp. - get paper here
  • Burt, Charles E. 1933. Some lizards from the Great Basin of the West and adjacent areas, with comments on the status of various forms. American Midland Naturalist 14: 228-250 - get paper here
  • Burt, Charles E. 1935. Further records of the ecology and distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the middle west. American Midland Naturalist 16 (3): 311-336 - get paper here
  • Cole, Charles J.; Painter, Charles W. (Charles Wilson), 1949-; Dessauer, Herbert C.; Taylor, Harry Leonard. 2007. Hybridization between the endangered unisexual gray-checkered whiptail lizard (Aspidoscelis dixoni) and the bisexual western whiptail lizard (Aspidoscelis tigris) in southwestern New Mexico. American Museum novitates (3555) - get paper here
  • Collins, J.T. and T. W. Taggart 2009. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Sixth Edition. Center for North American Herpetology, 48 pp.
  • Conant,R. & Collins,J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern/Central North America, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin (Boston/New York), xx + 450 p.
  • Cooper Jr., W.E.; Vitt, L.J.; Caldwell, J.P. & Fox, S.F. 2005. Relationships among foraging variables, phylogeny, and foraging modes, with new data for nine North American lizard species. Herpetologica 61 (3): 250-259 - get paper here
  • Cordes, J E & Walker, J M; 2019. Aspidoscelis tesselatus (Common Checkered Whiptail) Capture of prey. Herpetological Review 50 (2): 367-368 - get paper here
  • CORDES, J. E., AND J. M. WALKER 2020. Aspidoscelis tesselatus (Common Checkered Whiptail) and Aspidoscelis gularis (Texas Spotted Whiptail). Interspecific Mating Behavior. Herpetological Review 51: 121-122.
  • Cordes, J. E., Walker, J. M. & Mendoza-Quijano, F. 2012. Aspidoscelis tesselata (common checkered whiptail) southern life history. Herpetological Review 43: 480-482 - get paper here
  • Cordes, James E. and James M. Walker 2006. Evolutionary and Systematic Implications of Skin Histocompatibility Among Parthenogenetic Teiid Lizards: Three Color Pattern Classes of Aspidoscelis dixoni and One of Aspidoscelis tesselata. Copeia, 2006 (1):14-26 - get paper here
  • Crother, B. I. 2000. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Herpetological Circular 29: 1-82
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • Degenhardt, William G.; C. W. Painter, and A. H. Price 1996. Amphibians and reptiles of New Mexico. Univ. New Mexico Press, 431 pp.
  • Densmore, Llewellyn D., III;Wright, John W.;Brown, Wesley M. 1989. Mitochondrial-DNA analysis and the origin and relative age of parthenogenetic lizards (Genus Cnemidophorus). II. C. neomexicanus and the C. tesselatus complex. Evolution 43 (5): 943-57 - get paper here
  • Dixon, James R. 2000. Amphibians and reptiles of Texas, second edition. Texas A&M University Press, 421 pp.
  • Glass, Bryan P.;Dundee, Harold A. 1950. Cnemidophorus tesselatus (Say) in Oklahoma. Herpetologica 6: 30 - get paper here
  • Gloyd, Howard K. 1937. A herpetological consideration of faunal areas in Southern Arizona. Bulletin of the Chicago Academy of Sciences 5 (5): 77-136 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. C. L. G. 1885. Reptilia and Batrachia. Biologia Centrali-Américana. Taylor, & Francis, London, 326 pp. [published in parts from 1885-1902; reprint by the SSAR 1987] - get paper here
  • Harry L. Taylor, Anthony J. Wilmes, Chad E. Montgomery, Lauren J. Livo, and James M. Walker 2017. Recent northward range expansion of the parthenogenetic lizard Aspidoscelis tesselatus in Colorado and the distributional enigma posed by pattern-classes C and D at the northern range periphery. The Southwestern Naturalist Sep 2017, Vol. 62, No. 3: 179-186. - get paper here
  • Hernandez T, Herr MW, Stevens S, Cork K, Medina-Nava C, Vialpando CJ, Warfel T, Fields N, Brodie C, Graham SP 2019. New distribution records for amphibians and reptiles in eastern Chihuahua, Mexico. Check List 15(1): 79-86 - get paper here
  • Jameson, David H.;Flury, Alvin G. 1949. The reptiles and amphibians of the Sierra Vieja Range of southwestern Texas. Texas Journal of Science 1 (2): 54-77 - get paper here
  • Jones, L.L. & Lovich, R.E. 2009. Lizards of the American Southwest. A photographic field guide. Rio Nuevo Publishers, Tucson, AZ, 568 pp. [review in Reptilia 86: 84] - get paper here
  • Knowlton, G., & Janes, M. 1934. Distributional and Food Habits Notes on Utah Lizards. Copeia, 1934(1), 10-14 - get paper here
  • Lazcano D, Nevárez-de los Reyes M, García-Padilla E, Johnson JD, Mata-Silva V, DeSantis DL, Wilson LD. 2019. The herpetofauna of Coahuila, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13(2) [General Section]: 31–94 (e189) - get paper here
  • Lemos-Espinal, Julio A. (ed.) 2015. Amphibians and Reptiles of the US - Mexico Border States / Anfibios y Reptiles de los Estados de la Frontera México - Estados Unidos. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, Texas. x + 614 pp.; ISBN 978-1-62349-306-6. - get paper here
  • Letter, A.W., Waldon, K.J. & Mali, I. 2018. Geographic Distribution: Aspidoscelis tesselata (Common Checkered Whiptail). Herpetological Review 49 (1): 73. - get paper here
  • Lowe, Charles H., Jr;Wright, John W.;Cole, Charles J.;Bezy, Robert L. 1970. Chromosomes and evolution of the species groups of Cnemidophorus (Reptilia: Teiidae). Systematic Zoology 19: 128-141 - get paper here
  • Martin, Daniel J., Laura E. R. Martin, David Wojnowski and Ben A. Fisher. 2015. Geographic Distribution: Aspidoscelis tesselata (common checkered whiptail). Herpetological Review 46 (4): 568 - get paper here
  • Maslin, T. & Secoy, D.M. 1986. A checklist of the lizard genus Cnemidophorus (Teiidae). Contr. Zool. Univ. Colorado Mus. 1: 1-60
  • Maslin, T. P. 1967. Skin grafting in the bisexual teiid lizard Cnemidophorus sexlineatus and in the unisexual C. tesselatus. Journal of Experimental Zoology 166 (1): 137-150 - get paper here
  • Maslin, T. Paul 1971. Conclusive evidence of parthenogenesis in three species of Cnemidophorus (Teiidae). Copeia 1971 (1): 156-158 - get paper here
  • Mata-Silva, Vicente, Aurelio Ramirez-Bautista, and Jerry D. Johnson. 2010. Reproductive Characteristics of Two Syntopic Species of Whiptail Lizards (Aspidoscelis marmorata and Aspidoscelis tesselata) from the Northern Chihuahuan Desert. Southwestern Naturalist 55:125-129 - get paper here
  • Mata-Silva, Vicente, Charles R. Bursey and Jerry D. Johnson. 2008. Gut Parasites of Two Syntopic Species of Whiptail Lizards (Aspidoscelis marmorata and Aspidoscelis tesselata) from the Northern Chihuahuan Desert. Boletin de la Sociedad Herpetologica Mexicana 16(1):1-4 - get paper here
  • Mata-Silva, Vicente, Jerry D. Johnson, and Aurelio Ramirez-Bautista 2013. Comparison of Diets of Two Syntopic Lizards, Aspidoscelis marmorata and Aspidoscelis tesselata (Teiidae), from the Northern Chihuahuan Desert of Texas. Southwestern Naturalist Jun 2013, Vol. 58, No. 2: 209-215 - get paper here
  • Mocquard, M.F. 1899. Contribution a la faune herpétologique de la Basse-Californie. Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. Natur.Paris, 4th Series, Vol. 1: 297-343 + plates XI-XIII - get paper here
  • Murray, Ian W., Don S. Sias and Jack C. Olson. 2011. Geographic Distribution:Aspidoscelis tesselata (common checkered whiptail). Herpetological Review 42 (3): 390-391 - get paper here
  • Newby, Jennifer L.; Jacob Boling, John Estes, Laura K. Garey, Andrea M. Grelle, Julie Hasken, Rory McKee, Anthony Wilmes, Chad E. Montgomery, Michael I. Kelrick, and James M. Walker 2011. Pattern-Class D of Parthenogenetic Aspidoscelis tesselata (Sauria: Teiidae) in Las Animas County, Colorado. Southwestern Naturalist 56 (1): 128-130 - get paper here
  • Parker, E. D.;Selander, R. K. 1976. The organization of genetic diversity in the parthenogenetic lizard Cnemidophorus tesselatus. Genetics 84: 791-805 - get paper here
  • Parker, W.S. 1973. Notes on reproduction of some lizards from Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah Herpetologica 29 (3): 258-264. - get paper here
  • Price A H 1986. Cnemidophorus tesselatus (Say). Checkered whiptail lizard. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 398: 1-2 - get paper here
  • Price, A.H. 1992. Comparative behavior in lizards of he genus Cnemidophorus (Teiidae), with comments on the evolution of pathenogenesis in reptiles. Copeia 1992 (2): 323-331 - get paper here
  • Price, Michael S. and Travis M. Dimler. 2015. New distributional records for the herpetofauna of Texas. Herpetological Review 46 (4): 605-607 - get paper here
  • Pyron, R. Alexander; Frank T. Burbrink 2013. Early origin of viviparity and multiple reversions to oviparity in squamate reptiles. Ecology Letters 17 (1): 13–21 (published online 2013, in print 2014), DOI: 10.1111/ele.12168 - get paper here
  • REEDER, T.W.; CHARLES J. COLE AND HERBERT C. DESSAUER 2002. Phylogenetic Relationships of Whiptail Lizards of the Genus Cnemidophorus (Squamata: Teiidae): A Test of Monophyly, Reevaluation of Karyotypic Evolution, and Review of Hybrid Origins. American Museum Novitates 3365: 1-64 - get paper here
  • Say, T. 1822. In James, E. Account of an expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, performed in the years 1819, '20, by order of the Hon. J. C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, under the command of Major Stephen H. Long. Vol. 2. Philadelphia, H. C. Carey & I. Lea. [1823] - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K.P., and D. Owens. 1944. Amphibians and reptiles of northern Coahuila, Mexico. Field Museum of Natural History, Zoological Series. Chicago. 29: 97-115. - get paper here
  • Scudday, J.F. 1973. A New Species of Lizard of the Cnemidophorus tesselatus Group from Texas. Journal of Herpetology 7 (4): 363-371 - get paper here
  • Smith, H.M. & Taylor,E.H. 1950. An annotated checklist and key to the reptiles of Mexico exclusive of the snakes. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 199: 1-253 - get paper here
  • Smith, Hobart M.; Burger, W. Leslie 1949. The identity of Ameiva tesselata Say. Bulletin of the Chicago Academy of Sciences 8 (13): 277-284
  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
  • Swartwout, M C & Robertson, S M; 2019. Aspidoscelis tesselatus (Checkered Whiptail) Diet And scavenging. Herpetological Review 50 (3): 569 - get paper here
  • Tanner, W.W. 1987. Lizards and turtles of Western Chihuahua. Great Basin Naturalist. 47: 383-421 - get paper here
  • Taylor, H.L.; Charles J. Cole; Laurence M. Hardy; Herbert C. Dessauer; Carol R. Townsend; James M. Walker; and James E. Cordes 2001. Natural hybridization between the teiid lizards Cnemidophorus tesselatus (parthenogenetic) and C. tigris marmoratus (bisexual) : assessment of evolutionary alternatives. American Museum Novitates 3345: 1-64 - get paper here
  • Taylor, Harry L.; Charles J. Cole, Glenn J. Manning, James E. Cordes, and James M. Walker 2012. Comparative Meristic Variability in Whiptail Lizards (Teiidae, Aspidoscelis): Samples of Parthenogenetic A. tesselata Versus Samples of Sexually Reproducing A. sexlineata, A. marmorata, and A. gularis septemvittata. American Museum Novitates (3744): 1-24. - get paper here
  • TAYLOR, HARRY L.; JAMES M. WALKER; JAMES E. CORDES AND GLENN J. MANNING 2005. Application of the Evolutionary Species Concept to Parthenogenetic Entities: Comparison of Postformational Divergence in Two Clones of Aspidoscelis tesselata and between Aspidoscelis cozumela and Aspidoscelis maslini (Squamata: Teiidae. Journal of Herpetology 39 (2): 266-277 - get paper here
  • Taylor, Harry L.;Walker, James M.;Cordes, James E. 1996. Systematic implications of morphologically distinct populations of parthenogenetic whiptail lizards: Cnemidophorus tesselatus pattern class D. Herpetologica 52 (2): 254-262 - get paper here
  • Taylor-Young, M. 2011. The Guide to Colorado Reptiles and Amphibians. Fulcrum Publishing, Golden, Colorado, 169 pp.
  • Tucker, Derek B.; Guarino R. Colli, Lilian G. Giugliano, S. Blair Hedges, Catriona R. Hendry, Emily Moriarty Lemmon, Alan R. Lemmon, Jack W. Sites Jr., R. Alexander Pyron 2016. Methodological congruence in phylogenomic analyses with morphological support for teiid lizards (Sauria: Teiidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 103: 75-84 - get paper here
  • Van Denburgh,J. and Slevin,J.R. 1921. A list of the amphibians and reptiles of Nevada, with notes on the species in the collection of the academy. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (4) 11 (2): 27-38 - get paper here
  • Walker, J. M., Cordes, J. E., Taylor, H. L. & Manning, G. J. 2012. Aspidoscelis tesselata (common checkered whiptail) northern life history. Herpetological Review 43: 479-480 - get paper here
  • Walker, J.M.; Cordes, J.E.; Cohn, C.C.; Taylor, H.L.; Kilambi, R.V.; Meyer, R.L. 1994. Life History Characteristics of 3 Morphotypes in the Parthenogenetic Cnemidophorus dixoni Complex (Sauria, Teiidae) in Texas and New-Mexico. Texas Journal of Science 46 (1): 27-33 - get paper here
  • Walker, James M., James E. Cordes and Harry L. Taylor. 1997. Parthenogenetic Cnemidophorus tesselatus complex (Sauria: Teiidae): A neotype for diploid C. tesselatus (Say, 1823), redescription of the taxon, and description of a new triploid species. Herpetologica 53 (2): 233-259 - get paper here
  • Walker, James M.;Cordes, James E.;Taylor, Harry L. 1996. Extirpation of the parthenogenetic lizard Cnemidophorus tesselatus from historically significant sites in Pueblo County, Colorado. Herpetological Review 27 (1): 16-17 - get paper here
  • Walker, James M.;Taylor, Harry L.;Cordes, James E. 1995. Parthenogenetic Cnemidophorus tesselatus complex at Higbee, Colorado: resolution of 30 years of controversy. Copeia 1995 (3): 650-658 - get paper here
  • Walker, James M.;Taylor, Harry L.;Cordes, James E.;Paulissen, Mark A. 1998. Distributional relationships and community assemblages of three members of the parthenogenetic Cnemidophorus tesselatus complex and C. sexlineatus (Squamata: Teiidae) at Higbee, Otero County, Colorado. Herpetological Natural History 5 (2): 165-174 [1997]
  • Walker,J.M. et al. 1990. Hybridization between all-female Cnemidophorus tesselatus and gonochoristic Cnemidophorus sexlineatus. Journal of Herpetology 24 (4): 388-396 - get paper here
  • Weidler, J M 2019. Protected areas of Texas in relation to Texas reptiles. Herpetological Review 50 (3): 462-473 - get paper here
  • Williams, Kenneth L.;Smith, Hobart M.;Chrapliwy, Pete S. 1960. Turtles and lizards from Northern Mexico. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 53 (1/2): 36-45
  • Wright, J.W. 1993. Evolution of the lizards of the genus Cnemidophorus. In: Wright,J.W. & Vitt,L.J. (eds.) Biology of Whiptail lizards (genus Cnemidophorus), pp. 27-81. Oklahoma Mus. Nat. Hist., Norman.
  • Wright, John W.;Lowe, Charles H. 1967. Evolution of the alloploid parthenospecies Cnemidophorus tesselatus (Say). Mammalian Chromosomes Newsletter 8 (2): 95-96 + 2 plates
  • Zweifel,R.G. 1965. Variation in and distribution of the unisexual lizard, Cnemidophorus tesselatus. American Museum Novitates 2235: 1-49 - get paper here
External links  
Is it interesting? Share with others:

As link to this species use URL address:

without field 'search_param'. Field 'search_param' is used for browsing search result.

Please submit feedback about this entry to the curator