Orange-throated whiptail

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Orange-throated whiptail
Cnemidophorus hyperythrus.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Teiidae
Genus: Aspidoscelis
Species: A. hyperythra
Binomial name
Aspidoscelis hyperythra
(Cope, 1863)
  • A. h. beldingi (Stejneger, 1894)
  • A. h. caerulea (Dickerson, 1919)
  • A. h. carmenensis
    (Maslin & Secoy, 1986)
  • A. h. espiritensis
    (Van Denburgh & Slevin, 1921)
  • A. h. franciscensis
    (Van Denburgh & Slevin, 1921)
  • A. h. hyperythra (Cope, 1863)
  • A. h. pictus
    (Van Denburgh & Slevin, 1921)
  • A. h. schmidti
    (Van Denburgh & Slevin, 1921)[2][3]

The orange-throated whiptail (Aspidoscelis hyperythra) is a species of lizard in the family Teiidae. The species was previously placed in the genus Cnemidophorus.

Geographic range[edit]

A. hyperythra is native to southern California in the United States, and to the states of Baja California and Baja California Sur in Mexico.[2]


A. hyperythra has five or six light-colored stripes down a black, brown, or grey dorsal side. The middle stripe may be forked at both ends. The species is whitish-yellow or cream on the venter, and has an orange throat (females and juveniles may lack this character). Its head is yellow-brown to olive-colored, and its tongue is forked and flicked continually. It has a snout-to-vent length of 5–7.2 centimetres (2.0–2.8 in).

Juveniles of this species have cobalt blue legs and tails. The entire ventral surface of males, including the tail, may be orange, although gravid females may also have some orange especially lining the lower jaw. The colors are most distinct in the breeding season. Males have larger femoral pores than females.


The orange-throated whiptail has a distinctive, jerking gait.


The subspecific names, beldingi and schmidti, are in honor of American ornithologist Lyman Belding and American herpetologist Karl Patterson Schmidt, respectively.[4]


  1. ^ IUCN (2016). "Aspidoscelis hyperythra". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Deletion of Cnemidophorus hyperythrus from Appendix II" (PDF). Consideration of Proposals for Amendments of Appendices I and II. CITES. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  3. ^ "Aspidoscelis hyperythra ". The Reptile Database.
  4. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Aspidoscelis hyperythra beldingi, p. 22; H. p. schmidti, p. 236).

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Lemm, Jeffrey M. (2006). Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the San Diego Region. California Natural History Guides. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. 344 pp. ISBN 0520245741.
  • Stebbins RC (2003). A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition. The Peterson Field Guide Series ®. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. xiii + 533 pp. ISBN 978-0-395-98272-3. (Cnemidophurus hyperythrus, pp. 317-318 + Plate 40 + Map 116).