After relentlessly stalking this Sonoran Tiger Whiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris punctilinealis), I finally managed to photograph this fast-moving lizard as it paused for just a moment in its busy hunt for food.
Sonoran Tiger Whiptails are a subspecies of Tiger Whiptail found here in the Sonoran Desert. These medium brown, spotted lizards have long, whiplike tails, and some of them may have very faint, light stripes on their backs.
As I watched, the Sonoran Tiger Whiptail darted a short distance away and began digging frantically in the dirt next to a patch of weeds. Its frenzied excavations were soon rewarded when it unearthed a huge beetle grub. I wonder how the lizard knew where to dig for the grub… Smell, sound, or ground vibration? The grub was too big to swallow whole, so the lizard bit at it, apparently trying to bite pieces out of the grub or mush it into a more manageable mouth size diameter for swallowing whole. After it noticed me watching its antics, the Sonoran Tiger Whiptail raced off with its fat grub and hid in a tangle of weeds so it could eat in private.