Desert grassland whiptail lizard

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Desert Grassland Whiptail Lizard
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Family: Teiidae
Genus: Aspidoscelis
Species: A. uniparens
Binomial name
Aspidoscelis uniparens
(Wright & Lowe, 1965)

The Desert Grassland Whiptail lizard (Aspidoscelis uniparens) is an all-female species. It was formerly placed in the genus Cnemidophorus. These reptiles reproduce by parthenogenesis; eggs undergo a chromosome doubling after meiosis and develop into lizards without being fertilized. However, ovulation is enhanced by female-female courtship and "mating" (pseudocopulation) rituals that resemble the behavior of closely related to species that reproduce sexually.[1][2][3] However, this claim has been disputed, as Collins and Pinch relate.[4]

The lizard lives in dry deserts from central Arizona to west Texas and south into Mexico.


  1. ^ Crews, D. & Fitzgerald, K.T. (1980). "Sexual" behavior in parthenogenetic lizards (Cnemidophorus). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 77, 1. pp. 499-502.
  2. ^ Crews, D., Grassman, M. & Lindzey, J. (1986). Behavioral Facilitation of Reproduction in Sexual and Unisexual Whiptail Lizards. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 83, 24. pp. 9547-9550.
  3. ^ Grassman, M. & Crews, D. (1987). Dominance and reproduction in a parthenogenetic lizard. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 21. pp. 141-147.
  4. ^ Collins, H. M. & Pinch, T. J. (1993). The Golem: What You Should Know about Science. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, pp. 109-119.