In Blanco, Texas, at the Rockin’ J Ranch on May 31, 2010, David O’Bar, from Houston, Texas, found, caught, and released a local lizard called the Desert Spiny Swift. The Spiny Swift is a part of the Sceloporus magister species. It is becoming quite rare in some parts of Texas, but it can be found in North America, from southeast Arizona to West Texas and into northern Mexico. It is a medium to large lizard reaching an adult size of 180- 330mm (7-13 inch). The young have little or no blue on the throat; the blue belly markings are faint or absent; no orange or yellow on limbs. Most species are oviparous; some are viviparous. Adult males usually have a blue patch on throat; the patch may be divided and, in some cases, absent. The belly patches are blue or greenish and may be seen from the sides or on top. Adult females have no blue or green above; dark crescents or bars on back. The lizard David caught was a male and had the beautiful blue/aquamarine throat patch.
The many species of Swifts come from very similar geographic areas: periods of hot weather, with trees or rocks to bask on, and crevices in which to hide. Swifts are difficult to sneak up on, extremely quick, and difficult to dislodge from a crevice once they have scooted within. David used his brother’s sneaker to catch his prey; the lizard ran into the shoe and was trapped inside. They are mainly insect eaters, but will also eat insect larvae, spiders, and other arthropods. David has a great love for our reptilian friends, and this capture was one of the highlights of his trip to the Texas Hill Country.