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Male Combat Between Banded Gila Monsters
(Heloderma suspectum cinctum) - A Photo Essay

By

Kris Haas




On the night of June 10, 2007 Jeff Miller of Cave Creek, Arizona and myself were night hiking in the vicinity of Scottsdale, Maricopa County, Arizona in search of nocturnal herps. At approximately 11:00 PM we came across two Banded Gila Monsters (Heloderma suspectum cinctum) engaged in what we at first thought was copulation. However, as we continued to observe them we began to suspect that what we were actually observing was combat between two adult males.

The two animals were totally oblivious to our presence as we continued observing them and taking this series of photographs.

Later, after contacts with Arizona State University we were able to determine that what we had witnessed had indeed been two males engaged in combat. This type of behavior normally only occurs when a female is in the immediate area, but we did not observe the female.


Click the thumbnail to see the full-sized image.


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Gila Combat 1

GilaBattle2.jpg 107.4K
Gila Combat 2

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Gila Combat 3

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Gila Combat 4

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Gila Combat 5

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Gila Combat 6

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Gila Combat 7

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Gila Combat 8

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Gila Combat 9

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Gila Combat 10

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All photos © 2007 by Kris Haas


Date submitted 07/18/07




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