Podarcis liolepis / Catalonian Wall Lizard

navigator Podarcis hispanicusoverviewPodarcis guadarramae
  • Podarcis guadarramae / Guadarrama Wall Lizard

    Podarcis guadarramae / Guadarrama Wall Lizard

  • Podarcis bocagei / Bocage's Wall Lizard

    Podarcis bocagei / Bocage's Wall Lizard

  • Podarcis virescens / Geniez's Wall Lizard

    Podarcis virescens / Geniez's Wall Lizard

  • Subsp. liolepis, Male: F / Pyrénées-Orientales, 22.06.2008

    The distribution range of Podarcis liolepis reaches from southern France to south-eastern Spain. In particular the populations in the south of this range are still poorly known, distinguishing these lizards from other Iberian wall lizard species can be difficult. In particular, the taxonomic status of the Podarcis liolepis subspecies should be revised: Podarcis liolepis cebennensis has been described for southern France. The Columbretes Archipel is populated by subspecies Atrata although this might be only an insular morph of the nominate subspecies. Subspecies sebastiani has been described for the Basque area, although this is probably just an ecotype of the nominate subspecies. The remaining populations in Spain and extreme southern France (Pyrénées-Orientales) are all referred to the nominate subspecies. But there are at least two morphs which differ with regard to their mitochondrial DNA as well as in morphological characters – and therefore should probably be regarded as separate subspecies:

    In the Alicante Province there is a „green morph“: males of this morph often show bright green colours. In central-eastern Spain (Provinces of Cuenca and Teruel) as well as further south in the Betic mountain range, there is another morph which shows – compared to the nominate subspecies – a conspicuous stripe pattern (see below).

    Podarcis liolepis looks similar to Podarcis muralis although it is more slender with lighter colouration. Podarcis muralis shows a more distinct dark brown stripe on the flanks and a conspicous dark blotch above the front legs.

  • Distribution area of Podarcis liolepis: The distribution ranges of the "green" and the "striped" morph currently just can be roughly estimated.

  • Subsp. liolepis, male: E / Valencia 31.12.2012 - Specimens of the Valencia population frequently show "concolor" pattern (without dark markings).

  • Subsp. cebennensis, male: F / Alba la Romaine, 16.06.2017 - This subspecies occurs in southern France and maybe a small area in north-eastern Spain. It is more slender than the nominate subspecies and has no blue outer ventral scales.

  • Subsp. cebennensis, male: F / Alba la Romaine, 16.06.2017

  • Subsp. sebastiani, pair: F / Basque Country, 24.08.2016 - This subspecies is more robustly built than the nominate subspecies; males frequently show greenish colouration on the backs.

  • "Green morph", male: E / Alicante, 29.12.2011 - The green morph occurs in the coastal limestone ranges between Valencia and Alicante.

  • "Green morph", male: E / Alicante, 23.12.2015

  • "Striped morph", male: E / Alto Tajo, 04.09.2014

    The striped morph differs from the nominate subspecies by the following characters: It has white or yellow undersides whereas males of the nominate subspecies often have orange undersides. At the nominate subspecies, the light dorsolateral line is widerbthan the dark supra-dorsolateral line whereas at the “striped morph, the supra-dorsolateral line is very wide and dark. At the nominate subspecies, the light dorsolateral line in males is often weak and interrupted but at the striped morph, also males show clear and continuous light dorsolateral lines. The wide supra-dorsolateral line and a dark flank stripe make them often appear very dark. Anyhow, some individuals in that area don't show this distinct stripe pattern (see below).

    In particular in south of its range, the “striped morph” seems to have a preference for mountainous, forested habitats with high humidity. In south of its range it has contact zones with Podarcis hispanicus, Podarcis virescens and Podarcis vaucheri which are poorly known so far.

  • "Striped morph", female: E / Canada del Hoyo, 08.09.2014

  • "Striped morph", male: E / Cazorla, 30.10.2017 - Note the yellow throat which is characteristic for the southern populations.

  • "Striped morph", male: E / Cazorla, 08.09.2015

  • "Striped morph", male: E / Sierra Espuña, 30.09.2017 - this specimen shows a very weak stripe pattern.