Anatololacerta anatolica - Anatolian Rock Lizard

Anatololacerta anatolica
Subsp. aegaea, adult: GR / Manolates (Samos), 15.06.2019

In Asia Minor, the European genus Podarcis is replaced by the genus Anatololacerta. In our area, these lizards occur on some Greek islands, only. It is a well climbing species which preferes rather humid habitats. In our area, two quite different subspecies occur: Subsp. aegaea is present on Samos and subsp. oertzeni occurs on Ikaria.

In subsp. aegea on Samos, males and females show quite similar patterns. Sexes can be best distinguished by the bigger heads of the males. On Samos, this species seems to be rather rare, occuring in low numbers.

 

Subsp. oertzeni on Ikaria shows a strong sexual dichromatism: Adult males become brownish with a "washed" pattern, sometimes showing green outer ventral scales. Undersides are whitish with dark spots. Females show a heavy dark pattern and orange undersides. On Ikaria, these lizards are very common with sometimes high population densities. This may be a result of rather low predation pressure on that island.

 

Ophisops elegans, which also occurs on Samos and Ikaria differs from Anatololacerta anatolica by its fixed eyelid and a very rough appearance of its scales.

 

Juveniles of Lacerta diplochondrodes (present on Samos) frequently show a distinct light vertebral line which lacks in Anatololacerta anatolica.

Anatololacerta anatolica
The European distribution range of Anatololacerta anatolica is limited to the Greek islands of Samos and Ikaria.

Anatololacerta anatolica
Female: GR / Samos, 10.06.2019
Anatololacerta anatolica
Subsp. oertzeni, male: GR / Ikaria, 12.06.2019 - Note the greenish outer ventral scales.
Anatololacerta anatolica
Subsp. oertzeni, male: GR / Ikaria, 11.06.2019 - Males show dark spots on the lower labials.
Anatololacerta anatolica
Subsp. oertzeni, male: GR / Ikaria, 12.06.2019 - Adult males show brownish colors.
Anatololacerta anatolica
Subsp. oertzeni, female: GR / Ikaria, 12.06.2019 - Females show orange undersides and a contrasting pattern.
Anatololacerta anatolica
Subsp. oertzeni, female: GR / Ikaria, 13.06.2019 - Note the heavy back pattern.
Anatololacerta anatolica
Subsp. oertzeni, juvenile: GR / Ikaria, 11.06.2019 - Juveniles show bright colors and greenish tails.
Anatololacerta anatolica
Habitat of Anatololacerta anatolica on Ikaria.