Gray checkered whiptail
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|Gray checkered whiptail|
Cnemidophorus tesselatus dixoni Scudday, 1973
The gray checkered whiptail (Cnemidophorus dixoni) is a species of lizard native to the United States in southern New Mexico and western Texas, and northern Mexico. Some sources consider it a subspecies of the common checkered whiptail, Cnemidophorus tesselatus, whereas others grant it full species status. It is one of many lizard species known to be parthenogenetic. The epithet dixoni is in homage of renowned herpetologist James R. Dixon, which leads some sources to refer to it as Dixon's whiptail.
The gray checkered whiptail grows to between 20 and 30 centimetres (8 and 12 in) in length. It is typically gray in color, with 10–12 white or yellow stripes that go the length of the body, often with spotting or checkering on the stripes. They are thin bodied, with a long tail.
Like most whiptail lizards, the gray checkered whiptail is diurnal and insectivorous. They are wary, energetic, and fast moving, darting for cover if approached. Its preferred habitat is rocky, semi-arid areas with sparse vegetation. The species is parthogenic, females lay unfertilized eggs in the mid-summer, which hatch in approximately six weeks.