Lilford's wall lizard

Lilford’s wall lizard

Lilford’s wall lizard (Podarcis lilfordi ) is a species of lizard in the family Lacertidae. The species is endemic to the Balearic Islands, Spain.

Spanish: Lagartija balear

Its natural habitats are temperate Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, rocky areas, and rocky shores. Originally distributed throughout the Balearics, the introduction of alien species which started with the Romans has confined the species to the uninhabited islets around the major islands, on almost each of which a local subspecies has evolved.

Lilford’s wall lizard grows to a body length of around 8 cm (snout to base of tail). The tail is about twice the length of the body. The dorsal surface is usually greenish or brownish but varies much between different island subpopulations. There is usually a pale dorso-lateral stripe and there may be several dark streaks or three dark lines running along the spine. The underside is white, cream or pinkish.and the throat may be blotched with a darker colour. Hatchlings very often have a blue tail.

Native to the islands of Menorca and Mallorca in the Balearic Islands, the Cabrera Archipelago to the south of Mallorca, and most of the neighbouring rocky islets This lizard is not present on the main islands any more due to predation by introduced species (cats) and also habitat loss.

Feeding and breeding habits

It mainly feeds on insects, spiders and other arthropods, snails and some vegetable matter which includes flowers, fruits, nectar and pollen.

Some plants endemic to the Balearic Islands depend on this lizard for pollination and plants known to be pollinated by it include the mastic tree Pistacia lentiscus, rock samphire Crithmum maritimum, wild leek Allium ampeloprasum, clustered carline thistle Carlina corymbosa and the sea daffodil Pancratium maritimum.

Breeding takes place in the summer and females sometimes lay up to three clutches of one to four eggs. These hatch in about eight weeks and the emerging young measure 3 to 3.5 cm

There are twenty-seven recognized subspecies many of which are found on only a single island (From wikipedia).

  • Podarcis lilfordi lilfordi (Günther, 1874) – Aire islet, off the southeastern coast of Menorca
  • Podarcis lilfordi addayae (Eisentraut, 1928)
  • Podarcis lilfordi balearica (Bedriaga, 1879)
  • Podarcis lilfordi brauni (L. Müller, 1927) – Colom islet, off Menorca
  • Podarcis lilfordi carbonerae Pérez-Mellado & Salvador, 1988 – Carbonera islet, off Menorca
  • Podarcis lilfordi codrellensis Pérez-Mellado & Salvador, 1988 – Binicondrell islet, off the southern coast of Menorca
  • Podarcis lilfordi colomi (Salvador, 1980) – Colomer islet, off northeast Menorca
  • Podarcis lilfordi conejerae (L. Müller, 1927)
  • Podarcis lilfordi espongicola (Salvador, 1979)
  • Podarcis lilfordi estelicola (Salvador, 1979)
  • Podarcis lilfordi fahrae (L. Müller, 1927)
  • Podarcis lilfordi fenni (Eisentraut, 1928) – Sanitja islet, off northern Menorca
  • Podarcis lilfordi gigliolii (Bedriaga, 1879) – Dragonera islet, off north of Majorca
  • Podarcis lilfordi hartmanni (Wettstein, 1937)
  • Podarcis lilfordi hospitalis (Eisentraut, 1928)
  • Podarcis lilfordi imperialensis (Salvador, 1979)
  • Podarcis lilfordi isletasi (Hartmann, 1953)
  • Podarcis lilfordi jordansi (L. Müller, 1927)
  • Podarcis lilfordi kuligae (L. Müller, 1927)
  • Podarcis lilfordi nigerrima (Salvador, 1979)
  • Podarcis lilfordi planae (L. Müller, 1927)
  • Podarcis lilfordi probae (Salvador, 1979)
  • Podarcis lilfordi porrosicola Pérez-Mellado and Salvador, 1988 – Porros islet, north of Menorca
  • Podarcis lilfordi rodriquezi (L. Müller, 1927) – Ratas Island lizard – Formerly Ratas Island, in Mahón’s harbour (Menorca). Extinct after island was demolished in harbour expansion.
  • Podarcis lilfordi sargantanae (Eisentraut, 1928) – islets located by the north coast of Majorca (Sargantana, Ravells, Bledes and Tusqueta).
  • Podarcis lilfordi toronis (Hartmann, 1953)
  • Podarcis lilfordi xapaticola (Salvador, 1979)

Above image Wikipedia By Orchi – Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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