Kirsten Kraklio

If you’re afraid of scorpions, you can thank Western banded geckos for making sure the population doesn’t get out of hand. In addition to foraging at night for small insects and spiders, the geckos are among the few reptiles that control the scorpion population by eating the creatures as babies. The small lizards are a creamy yellow with reddish-brown bands, spots and reticulations. Found across most of Central, Western and Southern Arizona, they can curl their tails and bodies to mimic scorpions as a defense mechanism, and if they lose their tails, they grow them back.