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The Sierra night lizard, Xantusia sierrae, is a small rock-crevice dwelling member of the night lizard family, Xantusiidae. It is only known to occur in a small area in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The genus Xantusia is notoriously secretive; thus, relatively little is known of the biology of these species. Xantusia sierrae is morphologically distinct from other members of the genus in its size and the pattern of its scales. Microhabitat specializations of plants and rock crevices are believed to have evolved convergently in this genus, making it difficult to distinguish different species within Xantusia. Additionally, molecular data has revealed a number of cryptic species, creating further phylogenetic confusion.


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