Archaeolacerta bedriagae - Bedriaga's Rock Lizard

Archaeolacerta bedriagae
Adult: F / Propriano (Corsica), 12.09.2013 - In southern Corsica, this species lives on coastal cliffs.

Bedriaga's Rock Lizard is a rather stolid character. If the feel disturbed, they will leave unhurriedly - and not come out again. They don't seem to be curious at all, in contrast to the opportunitstic and hectic Wall Lizard species. With their flat heads they are well adapted to rock crevices. Pattern and colouration can be quite variable and there seem to be little external differences between the sexes.

The distribution range of Archaeolacerta bedriagae is restricted to Corsica and Sardinia. Some subspecies have been described for Sardinia, which seem to be questionable, however. Instead, genetic analysis indicates that there are two different lineages: one in the high altitude mountain habitats of central Corsica and another one in coastal southern Corsica and scattered areas on Sardinia.

 

With its sharp snout and its more or less distinct dot pattern, this species cannot be confused with other lizards in the area:

  • Podarcis tiliguerta and Podarcis siculus, particularly females, show light dorsolateral lines and have shorter heads. Where Podarcis tiliguerta and Archaeolacerta bedriagae co-occur, the latter one prefers barren rock areas.
  • Algyroides fitzingeri is smaller and has strongly keeled scales.
Archaeolacerta bedriagae
The distribution area of Archaeolacerta bedriagae covers some mountain ranges on Corsica and Sardinia as well as coastal sections in Southern Corsica and Northern Sardinia.

Archaeolacerta bedriagae
Male: F / Vizzavona (Corsica), 08.09.2013 - In some mountain populations, specimens with such a "tiger pattern" occur.
Archaeolacerta bedriagae
Male: F / Haut-Asco (Corsica), 09.09.2013 - Note the rows of blue dots.
Archaeolacerta bedriagae
Adult: F / Propriano (Corsica), 13.09.2013 - Specimen with orange underside.
Archaeolacerta bedriagae
Adult: F / Bonifacio (Corsica), 12.09.2013
Archaeolacerta bedriagae
Juvenile: F / Propriano (Corsica), 13.09.2013 - Juveniles show blue tails.
Archaeolacerta bedriagae
Coastal habitat of Archaeolacerta bedriagae in Southern Corsica.