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Western Fence Lizard
Sceloporus occidentalis

The western fence lizard is frequently seen sitting on a fence (or wall).  Watching tv one day, something caught my eye.  "That looks like a tail hanging from the bottom of the drapes.  I wonder what might be on the other end of it."  I don't know how the lizard got into the house, but he was doing his best to get out. He just didn't understand glass.  Having caught him in a clear plastic. Container, I put him in the refrigerator (not freezer) for 15 minutes.  Since the lizard is cold blooded, cooling slowed it down enough that I could get these pictures.  For a good reason they are commonly called "swifts".

Here the lighting clearly shows the keels (ridges) on the lizards scales.

Looking upward through the container shows why this species is often referred to as "blue bellied lizard".

Here is your size clue.  This picture also shows the toes, two are missing from the left front.
The western fence lizard is one of the reasons that Lime disease is less common in areas where it lives.  Not only is it immune to Lime disease, but infected ticks that bite the lizard are cured.
(more on Lime disease).

This little fence lizard is in the process of sheding its skin.

Here is a male fence lizard showing off his colors.

[Taxonomy : Classification]
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