CNHP zoologist John Sovell took these photos in southeastern Colorado, which is home to a rare species of checkered whiptail lizard. Described as a separate species in 1997, CNHP tracks this unusual lizard under the name Aspidoscelis neotesselata. This population of triploid (having three sets of chromosomes instead of the usual two) animals is entirely made up of females, who are able to reproduce parthenogenetically. In parthenogenetic species, reproduction is asexual, and egg cells develop without having been fertilized by male gametes. Consequently, offspring are genetically identical with their mother.
Aspidoscelis neotesselata is found in juniper and pinyon-juniper woodland, arid, rocky canyons, rocky hillsides, shrubby areas, and open savannahs around the Arkansas, Huerfano, Apishapa, and Purgatoire rivers and their tributaries.