Iberian mountain lizard

I came across this lizard enjoying the late afternoon sunshine at the back of the Mirador da Miranda viewing point, which is a stone balcony overlooking the Ria Ortigueira and surrounding countryside in Galicia, Spain. The lookout point must be about 500m in altitude and overlooks the Ria (or inlet) (see below). Iberian mountain lizards (L.…

Garden Fence Lizard seen on fence!

  The Changeable lizard (Calotes versicolor) certainly lives up to its name.  Also called the Oriental Garden Lizard, the Garden Fence Lizard, or the Eastern Garden Lizard, it varies in colour and pattern throughout its vast range (stretching across Asia from Iran to China and down into South East Asia).  It has also been introduced into many places,…

Land iguanas: a link with the past

There are 44 species of iguanas (in nine genera), but remarkably, some are still undescribed (1).  There are three Land iguanas found in The Galápagos Islands: Conolophus marthae, Conolophus pallidus and Conolophus subcristatus. The commonest one, C. subcristatus,  is found on about seven islands, including North Seymour, where these pictures were taken.  I was not fortunate enough to come across…

A sea-going lizard

Marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) have probably been living happily on the Galápagos islands for over 10 million years (1).  The first human being they saw was the Bishop of Panama in 1535 (2).  I don’t suppose they took much notice!  They look to me like they are not easy to impress.  I guess 10 million…

Skinks, me thinks, are cool!

I like skinks.  They look friendly!  There is something about their smooth shape and rounded lines that looks more attractive than some other types of lizard.  There are more than 1,400 species of skinks; most have cylindrical bodies and short limbs, but others have lost their limbs altogether (or have very reduced appendages).  There are…

Bocage’s wall lizards turn green when mated

Bocage’s Wall Lizard (Podarcis bocagei), is another lizard which is endemic to (only found there in) the northwestern Iberian Peninsula. The adult males and females are sexually dichromatic – meaning that they have different colour patterns! The female lizards have a nice brown back (see photos on link 1), whilst the males have a lovely green…

Schreiber’s green lizard – going blue in the face!

Schreiber’s green lizard (latin name Lacerta schreiberi) is only found in the northwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula: that is in both central/northern Portugal and northwest Spain.  There are also some isolated populations in southern Portugal and Spain which might be refugia (isolated outposts) from a more widespread distribution in the past.  These particular lizards like quite…