This lizard isn’t the one that’s my particular friend. My particular friend is Mr. Yellow. This lizard is one of Mr. Yellow’s rivals.
I wonder if spiny lizards are territorial. I’ve been doing some research, and it seems that herpetologists believe they may be, but they’re not sure. In my own observations, the territories seem loosely defined. Mr. Yellow is often found in the rock garden, on the acacia and desert willow trees and in the front garden beds. His rivals, including this one in the featured picture as well as a large male I call Mr. Blue, tend to spend their time in the back wilder part of the yard, where the prickly pears grow.
The compost is in between the two areas, and that’s where many spinies will gather.
The territories seem to shift, though, and sometimes, I’ll meet Mr. Yellow on the other side of the garden.
The other day, Mr. Yellow was enjoying the warm bricks around the lemon tree when Mr. Blue raced out down from the mesquite behind the compost and pounced on him. Mr. Yellow pounced back then jumped off the brick and did his best triceratops imitation. He was most impressive.