Granite Spiny Lizard - Blue-Bellied Boulder Bounder
The granite spiny lizard stands out for its beautiful coloring although it does vary quite a bit by individual as to the exact pattern and coloration. Individuals may be a light or dark olive green, dark enough to be almost black or a rather bright green. When the coloration is especially dark, the banding may be hard to spot but when the general color is light, the darker markings are quite easy to distinguish. Males may have a deep purple along their backs and the limbs and/or the tail may be blue. The bellies may be a bright blue, turquoise or indigo color. The females are not as fancy, having more shades of light yellow or brown. The tail has dark banding and the scales are spiny. The scales on the back and sides have ridges as well but do not form sharp spines like those on the tail. The lizards have rather thick bodies and are between 8-10.5 inches (20-27cm) in length as adults with females being a bit smaller than males. With the tails measuring about 1.5 times the body length, the total length of lizards is about 21 inches (53 cm).
The granite spiny lizards live in southwest California southward into Baja California. Generally, they live in fields with lots of boulders or rock formations (especially they like granite rocks of course) but sometimes where people are in their territory they may inhabit construction sites with lots of handy nooks and crannies. But these pretty lizards do not like to be admired and do not like company, especially from other species (like humans for example). The adults will quickly scuttle away to the far side of a boulder, or dart beneath it, when approached so you'll have to spot them from afar. The young are not quite as skittish but can sometimes be seen and approached to within a few feet. Other times they will also run off to the far reaches of their home range and look for hiding spots until intruders find other subjects of interest.