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acrylic on illustration board 20" x 15"
  In the southwestern U.S. and adjacent Mexico, the Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus) occurs in a number of desert habitats. This strictly nocturnal lizard remains well hidden until after dark. On moonlit nights, its translucent body almost gleams, and it's easy to spot as it stalks its arthropod prey, its tail writhing, catlike. Here, a Western Banded Gecko is framed by iconic Mojave plants as it descends the woody skeleton of a dead cholla (Cylindropuntia sp.) before the nocturnal, trumpet-like blossom of a Western Jimsonweed (Datura wrightii), well-known for its toxic and hallucinatory effects caused by the alkaloids atropine and scopolamine. Also visible is a Jimson Beetle (Lema daturaphila), the adults and larvae of which feed on Jimsonweed and other members of the potato family, Solanaceae.