There is a hybrid species of lizards out of New Mexico that is known as the Leaping Lesbian Lizards. This variety of reptile is actually the product of inter-breeding between two distinct species of native lizards. These unique reptiles are found in the northern portions of Mexico, as well as in New Mexico and Arizona.
This hybrid species, the Leaping Lesbian Lizards, also go by the name New Mexico Whiptail Lizard. In fact, the Whiptail is the state’s official reptile. It is one of a number of reptiles that is known to be parthenogenic. This means that this particular species of lizard uses asexual reproduction, so the development and growth of the reptiles embryos occurs without there being any fertilization.
The creation of the Leaping Lesbian Lizards takes place through the hybridization of the western whiptail and the little striped whiptail. Once the hybrid species is formed, they can actually reproduce through parthenogenic reproduction. If a male is born out of the hybridization process, they are actually sterile and seemingly do not live long, but through parthenogenesis the female population is able to reproduce.
Essentially the Leaping Lesbian Lizards, a hybrid species out of New Mexico, are actually a highly evolved reptile species capable of reproduction asexually, as well as through the hybridization process. These reproductive traits seem to be very prevalent across a number of different varieties of whiptail lizards.
These small reptiles can grow to be up to nine inches in length, with a long tale and a slender body shape. Their coloring is ether a brown or black, with seven distinct pale yellow stripes that run from their tales to their heads. They will often have pale spots that can be found between the stripes. On the undersides of their bodies, the coloring is either pale blue or white. Even their throats are a unique color, ranging from a blue-green to a blue. These color characteristics are part of their natural adaptation to their environments and habitats.
The Leaping Lesbian Lizards are very similar to other varieties of whiptail lizards in their actions and behaviors. The lizards are known for being wary and darting for cover if they are approached. These reptiles are also known to be fast moving and energetic. When the Leaping Lesbian Lizards choose to reproduce, it often occurs in the middle of the summer, and there are four unfertilized eggs laid. Approximately eight weeks later, those eggs will hatch.
One of the biggest reasons why this species of lizard has been dubbed the Leaping Lesbian Lizard, is the fact that although they are reproducing asexually, the females still engage in mating behaviors. This is due to the fact that as an all-female species, this mating activity actually allows for the stimulation needed to bring about ovulation. Without this mating behavior and stimulation, the lizards would be unable to lay their eggs.
Typically the Leaping Lesbian Lizard can be found in both a grasslands or desert environment, as long as the climate is semi-arid, which is why the hybrid species can easily be found in New Mexico. Mountainside woodlands, rocky areas, grassland and shrubland are all known habitats of this particular species of whiptail.
While many debate the ideas of homosexuality, animals such as the hybrid species, Leaping Lesbian Lizards, easily showcase that sexual acts between the same gender do occur in nature. This is not the only animal to engage in same sex pairings, but their name alone, easily showcases their sexuality.
By Kimberley Spinney
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Photo Courtesy of desertrice’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Photo Courtesy of Bryant Olsen’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License