Dalmatolacerta oxycephala - Sharp-snouted Rock Lizard

Dalmatolacerta oxycephala
Adult: MNE / Lovćen , 10.7.2015 - Specimen with bright blue throat.

Time and again, the Dinaric / Adriatic area has proofed as a hot-spot for biodiversity which also applies for Lacertids. The genus of Dalmatolacerta is monotypic with its only representative - Dalmatolacerta oxycephala - occuring along the Adriatic Coast from Croatia to Albania. It's an excellent climber which lives in Mediterranean, karstified habitats.

Unlike other Rock Lizard species, the Dalmatolacerta oxycephala even occurs within human settlements, e.g. on the Kotor city walls, where these striking blue lizards frequently surprise tourists. This species is not very shy and can be easily observed.

 

With its blue heads and tails, the fine dot pattern and sharp snouts, Dalmatolacerta oxycephala cannot be confused with other species in the area:

  • Dinarolacerta mosorensis may be similar but has no blue heads and tails.
  • Algyroides nigropunctatus shows blue heads but no blue tails. Furthermore it can be identified by its strongly keeled scales.
  • Podarcis muralis has no blue heads and tails and shorter snouts. Females frequently show light dorsolateral lines which lack in Dalmatolacerta oxycephala.
Dalmatolacerta oxycephala
The distribution area of Dalmatolacerta oxycephala covers parts of Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro and northern Albania.

Dalmatolacerta oxycephala
MNE / Kotor, 9.7.2015 - These lizards may easily be encountered on the Kotor city walls
Dalmatolacerta oxycephala
Adult: MNE / Lovćen , 10.7.2015 - Specimens from Lovćen frequently show a dark basic colouration.
Dalmatolacerta oxycephala
Adult: MNE / Mrtvica, 04.07.2015 - Specimens from the Mrtvica area show light colours.
Dalmatolacerta oxycephala
Juvenile: MNE / Kotor, 9.7.2015 - Eating an arthropode.
Dalmatolacerta oxycephala
The peak area of the Lovćen Mountain (Montenegro) is inhabited by Dalmatolacerta oxycephala, Lacerta viridis, Dinarolacerta mosorensis and Algyroides nigropunctatus.