Updated July 5, 2013.

The scurrying of a lizard into the brush used to startle me. Now I search for them on the dirt paths I walk, trying to get a better picture than the last one I took. Most of the lizards in the area where I live and work are Western Fence Lizards, so I've identified them as such.

An interesting territorial and courtship behavior of the Western Fence Lizard is to make itself appear bigger and fiercer by doing pushups or head bobbing. From my observations, lizards appear to do pushups after any type of physical exertion, and I wonder if the pumping isn't sometimes equivalent to a dog panting.

lizards scattter / into the trembling / of dry leaves
K. Avila 2011.2.23

Photos copyright © 2008-2017 Kat Avila
Location: Most of the lizard photos were taken at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, unless otherwise specified.
long-tailed lizard
a beautiful long tail
UC Irvine
2010
Belding's Orange-throated Whiptail, Aspidoscelis hyperythra beldingi (Cnemidophorus hyperythrus beldingi), WHIPTAIL AND RACERUNNER FAMILY
Belding's orange-throated whiptail
Arroyo Trabuco Wilderness
2013.6.21
Coastal Whiptail, Aspidoscelis tigris stejnegeri, WHIPTAIL AND RACERUNNER FAMILY
coastal whiptail
Arroyo Trabuco Wilderness
2013.6.21
coastal whiptail
close-up
Arroyo Trabuco Wilderness
2013.6.21
coastal whiptail
Arroyo Trabuco Wilderness
2013.6.21
Common Side-blotched Lizard, Uta stansburiana, IGUANA FAMILY
common side-blotched lizard
male, yellow-throated morph
Bell View - RSM
2013.5.1
common side-blotched lizard
close-up
Bell View - RSM
2013.5.1
common side-blotched lizard
tail
Bell View - RSM
2013.5.1
common side-blotched lizard
male, yellow-throated morph
San Juan Wildlife Sanctuary
2013.7.3
common side-blotched lizard
close-up
San Juan Wildlife Sanctuary
2013.7.3
western fence lizard
Aliso Creek
2013.9.28
San Diego Alligator Lizard, Elgaria multicarinata webbii, ANGUID LIZARD FAMILY
Southern Alligator Lizard
basking in the sun
Irvine
2012.4.12
San Diego Alligator Lizard
head
Irvine
2012.4.12
San Diego Alligator Lizard
close-up
Irvine
2012.4.12
San Diego Alligator Lizard
midsection
Irvine
2012.4.12
San Diego Alligator Lizard
regrowing its tail
Irvine
2012.4.12
San Diego Alligator Lizard
anerythristic or axanthic
SJWS
2017.3.30
San Diego Alligator Lizard
anerythristic or axanthic
SJWS
2017.3.30
Western Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, IGUANA FAMILY: There may be other lizards mixed into the group. Sometimes they're difficult to tell apart without more detailed photographs.
lizard
dead on sidewalk
RSM
2008.1.7
lizard
blue spots across back
San Diego Creek Trail
2010.4.9
western fence lizard
This lizard blends in well
with the stump.
2010.4.23
lizard
doing pushups
2010.4.23
lizard
2010.4.23
lizard
close-up of tail stump
2010.4.23
lizard
2010.4.23
lizard
2010.5.27
lizard
2010.5.27
lizard
2010.6.10
lizard
Looks like this lizard
has regrown its tail.
2010.7.23
lizard
See the color difference
at the joint.
2010.7.23
lizard
2010.7.23
western fence lizard
RSM
2010.9.2
lizard
hopping after a moth
San Diego Creek Bike Trail
2010.9.24
lizard
"Huh? Who are you?"
San Diego Creek Bike Trail
2010.9.24
lizard
pattern of paired dark
and light brown stripes
San Diego Creek Bike Trail
2010.9.24
lizard
The pattern on its head
looks like a false face.
San Diego Creek Bike Trail
2010.9.24
This lizard was the 1st lizard
I saw in 2011. This macho ran
in front of me, scooted up a
bush, and did some pushups
while keeping an eye on me.
Someone said maybe it
climbed to match my height.
lizard
San Juan Wildlife Sanctuary
2011.1.28
lizard
San Juan Wildlife Sanctuary
2011.1.28
lizard
basking in the sun
San Juan Wildlife Sanctuary
2011.2.4
lizard
missing a tail
San Juan Wildlife Sanctuary
2011.3.7
lizard
looking for insects to eat
San Juan Wildlife Sanctuary
2011.3.7
lizard
splashes of yellow around
eyes, ears, and armpits;
aqua blue belly
San Juan Wildlife Sanctuary
2011.3.7
lizard
giving me the eye
San Juan Wildlife Sanctuary
2011.3.7
lizard
blinking
San Juan Wildlife Sanctuary
2011.3.7
lizard
2011.3.10
lizard
2011.3.10
lizard
2011.3.11
lizard
2011.3.11
lizard
aqua green spots
dot the tail
2011.3.15
lizard
bottom of hind legs
are yellow
2011.3.15
lizard
light blue throat patch
2011.3.15
lizard
2011.3.15
lizard
2011.3.17
lizard
Yellow coloring can be seen
beneath its front and hind legs.
2011.3.17
lizard
dark blue throat patch
2011.4.4
lizard
2011.4.4
lizard
2011.4.4
lizard
2011.4.4
lizard
2011.4.4
lizard
close-up on trunk
2011.4.4
lizard
2011.4.4
lizard
2011.4.4
lizard
2011.4.4
lizard
2011.4.4
lizard
2011.4.4
lizard
2011.4.11
lizard
2011.4.11
lizard
There are white splotches
on its back. Bird poo?
2011.4.18
lizard
2011.4.21
lizard
2011.4.21
lizard
2011.4.21
lizard
close-up on patterned hand
2011.4.21
lizard
lizard pair
2011.4.21
lizard
tail is lifted off the ground
Irvine
2012.4.12
lizard blue throat patch
2012.4.18
western fence lizard
Aliso Creek
2013.4.17