This lizard is much larger than the Western Fence Lizards that we have scurrying about (for scale, that is my hand, but I don’t think I have seen one of these lizards before… big and smooth like a snake… and quite a poser for this hand-held shot).
But, seeing the three hitchhikers on his neck made me wonder if this guy was a blood purifier.
''Lizards are doing humanity a great service here in the West. As infected ticks suck blood from the common Western fence lizard, something in the lizard's blood kills the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. The bacteria are destroyed. The ticks and lizards are unharmed. A typical lizard in the spring can have 30 to 40 juvenile ticks sucking its blood but it remains healthy. A substance in the lizard blood travels to the young tick's mid-gut and kills all the spirochetes. The adult ticks may then go on to bite humans but will not transmit Lyme disease.” (excerpts from NYT)
P.S. speaking of detox, I chuckled when I noticed, in Utah of all places, that Evian has taken “detox” as their brand message on bottles and on their home page. Is this just for the U.S.? =)