Podarcis Erhardii - Erhard's Wall Lizard

Podarcis erhardii, also referred to as the Aegean wall lizard or Erhard’s wall lizard, is one of the lizard species from the family Lacertidae.

This lizard is a native of the southwestern region of Europe. The name erhardii is derived from a certain German naturalist called Dr. Erhard. He was the author of “Fauna See Cycladen.”

The lizard is found in the Balkan peninsula and also on the Aegean islands. In the mainlands, Podarcis erhardii can be found in territories such as Albania, North Macedonia, and South Bulgaria. Its geographic range also extends to the northeastern part of the peninsula of Penelope in Greece.

They are usually preyed on by birds, so they survive and avoid attacks by using camouflage. This lizard settles for backgrounds that align with their skin colour to shield themselves from the sight of their predators.

Table of Contents

Scientific Classification

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassReptilia
OrderSquamata
FamilyLacertidae
GenusPodarcis
SpeciesP. erhardii

Description and Size

The Podarcis erhardii has a body length of 7 centimetres, which is 2.8 inches. This miniature creature has a tail that’s twice its body length. It also has smooth skin with a broadhead. This lizard has varying skin colouring and patterns.

The major colouring and pattern of the males are usually grey or brown, sometimes green. For the females, their skins are usually striped.

Two dark and spotty lines border the two white stripes on their backs. There is also a dark line in the middle of the lizard’s back.

The males have a net-like skin pattern. Their bellies and most times, their throats are usually white, orange, yellow, or red.

For the ones in the Aegean islands, those body areas are typically green, blue, or grey. While they don’t have spotted bellies, there are generally blue spots on their hind legs.

The Erhard’s wall lizards from the eastern region of the Aegean islands have a considerable difference from those on the central Cyclades.

They have reduced greyish or brownish skin colouration. They are also short-limbed and have pointy snouts. They established populations on numerous tiny islets that haven’t been habited before.

They are set apart from the central Cyclades by waters reaching depths of several hundred metres. They are more terrestrial than their counterparts on the Cyclades.

They cannot be confused with other lizard species for the simple reason that they are the only Lacertids in their territory.

Habitat

The Podarcis erhardii’s primary habitat usually includes locations such as dry or rocky places. It also includes low and dense bushes. They also live in open areas such as plant-covered dunes.

Diet

Their primary diet consists of arthropods, insects such as ants, crickets, and many more.

Reproduction

Podarcis Erhardii - Erhard's Wall Lizard
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Image Credit: EUROLIZARDS.

The Podarcis erhardii’s mating season usually occurs during spring. They usually lay their eggs at the beginning of summer, and these eggs are later hatched in September. The lizard’s offspring has a body length measurement of 3 centimeters.

Subspecies

There are up to 28 subspecies of Podarcis erhardii that have been qualified as valid.

Nonetheless, only four have been identified, and they include:

  • Podarcis erhardii livadiacus
  • Podarcis erhardii rivet
  • Podarcis erhardii thessalicus
  • Podarcis erhardii ruthvenii

Conservation Status

The Podarcis erhardii conservation status is classified as “Least Concern.”

Podarcis Erhardii - Erhard's Wall Lizard
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