Body length: 2 1/2 - 4"
Diet: Insects, spiders, other lizards, and plants
Zebratail lizards are fast, skittish lizards, often seen scampering across sandy desert washes. Between short bursts of speed, they characteristically stop to waggle the black and white banded tails for which they are named. Approach them, and they dart off again.
Zebratails are creatures of the low, sandy desert, and currently are rare at Tonto National Monument. Historic records suggest that zebratails and kangaroo rats were once more common in the Monument. Perhaps this is because vegetation is denser where cattle grazing no longer occurs, which could lead to replacement of animals that prefer open desert (such as zebratails and jackrabbits) with others that prefer greater cover (such as spiny lizards and pocket mice).
Did You Know?
Tonto National Monument is home to a crested saguaro. Biologists disagree as to why some saguaros grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of lightning or freeze damage. About one in 150,000 saguaros develop this unusual growth.