The desert is a tough place to ride.
There are cactuses:
poisonous venomous creatures
Also. Potholes. Always the potholes.
Gila monsters don't have the lightening quick strike of a rattlesnake; you have to pester them in order to get bitten. If you see a live one on the pavement or bike lane, try to gently guide it off the road and into dirt habitat with your front wheel. They are at risk of being run over or scooped up by unscrupulous collectors.
@silverpedals Gentle use of a long stick might be better for your inner tube and the Gila Monster...