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Reptiles Guide

Wall lizards

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Podarcis hispanica
Podarcis hispanica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Family: Lacertidae
Many, see text.
Terminology and scalation of lacertids
Terminology and scalation of lacertids

Lacertidae is the family of the wall lizards, which are native to Europe, Africa, and Asia, and (in Lacerta) include some of the most common types seen in Europe.



All species are terrestrial. European and Mediterranean species live mainly in forest and scrub habitats. Eastward Eremias and Ophisops replace them in the grassland and desert habitats of Asia. African species usually live in rocky, arid areas. Holaspis is one of the few arboreal lacertids, and its single species (Holaspis guentheri) is a glider, although apparently a poor one using its broad tail and flattened body as an aerofoil (Zug et al. 2001).


Small or medium-sized; usually less than 9 cm snout-vent length, but a few species exceed 15 cm SVL (Lacerta lepida).


Primarily insectivorous. Meroles anchietae (formerly Aporosaura anchietae) is one of the few Wall lizards that regularly eats seeds, not an unlikely food for a lizard of the harsh Namib Desert.


At least 8 species of Lacerta are parthenogenetic and all are oviparous except for some populations of Lacerta vivipara.


The Common Wall Lizard is a small, thin lizard whose small scales are highly variable in color and pattern. Their coloration is generally brownish or grayish, and may occasionally be tinged with green. In some individuals the row of spots along their back may form a line, while others may have a reticulated pattern with dark spots on the side and scattered white spots that can be blue in the shoulder region. The tail is brown, grey or rust in color, and may also have light bars on the sides. The belly region has 6 rows of larger rectangular scales that are generally reddish, pink, or orangish. Common Wall Lizards may also have dark markings on the throat.

Distribution and Status

The Common Wall Lizard is an introduced species whose natural range spans mainland Europe in central Spain, southern Belgium, and the Netherlands. In the US this lizard has established populations along the Ohio River and within Cincinnati, Ohio, particularly in the vicinity of the Cincinnati Zoo (US distribution map). Within the Midwest/Upper South, the Common Wall Lizard is only found in Ohio and Northern Kentucky.


The Common Wall Lizard prefers urban settings where it can scurry between rock, rubble, debris and buildings.


Family Lacertidae

  • Subfamily Gallotiinae
    • Genus Gallotia
      Genus Psammodromus
  • Subfamily Lacertinae
    • Genus Acanthodactylus
      Genus Adolfus
      Genus Algyroides
      Genus Australolacerta
      Genus Darevskia
      Genus Eremias
      Genus Gastropholis
      Genus Holaspis
      Genus Heliobolus
      Genus Iberolacerta
      Genus Ichnotropis
      Genus Lacerta
      Genus Latastia
      Genus Meroles
      Genus Mesalina
      Genus Nucras
      Genus Ophisops
      Genus Pedioplanis
      Genus Philochortus
      Genus Podarcis
      Genus Poromera
      Genus Pseuderemias
      Genus Takydromus
      Genus Timon
      Genus Tropidosaura

External link

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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