Iberolacerta cyreni - Cyren's Rock Lizard

Iberolacerta cyreni
Subsp. castiliana: E / Sierra de Gredos (Ávila), 26.09.2010 - Subspecies castiliana may show bright greenish colours.

Cyren's Rock Lizard is a self-confident mountain lizard: This robust species can be seen basking on rocks during the whole afternoon. They even seem to be unimpressed by noisy groups of hikers, which may be quite numerous, as this lizard's habitats are frequented by weekend tourists from the Madrid area.

 

Two subspecies of this stoical lizard are currently recognized:

  • The nominate subspecies occurs in the Sierra de Guadarrama north of Madrid.
  • Subspecies castiliana occurs further west, in the Sierra de Gredos and some adjoining mountain ranges.

Within its habitat, the nominate subspecies has to compete with Podarcis muralis and meanwhile even with Podarcis guadarramae which increasingly occupies high altitude habitats. Climate warming may enhance this development.

 

Females of both Podarcis species may be distinguished by their light dorsolateral lines. Furthermore, Podarcis muralis frequently shows orange throats. Podarcis guadarramae is significantly smaller than Iberolacerta cyreni.

 

In the Sierra de Gredos, subspecies castiliana only has to share its habitat with some Ibex (and the mentioned hikers). This well-adapted mountain species inhabits even the rocky peak areas without any vegetation (up to approx. 2600 meters).

 

Iberolacerta cyreni differs from the other western Iberian Rock Lizards by not showing blue ocelli on the shoulders.

Iberolacerta cyreni
Distribution areas of the Iberian Iberolacerta species: Iberolacerta cyreni occurs in some mountain ranges of the Sistema Central.

Iberolacerta cyreni
Subsp. cyreni, male: E / Puerto De La Morcuera (Sierra de Guadarrama), 01.10.2010 - Note the absence of blue ocelli.
Iberolacerta cyreni
Subsp. cyreni, male: E / Puerto De La Morcuera (Sierra de Guadarrama), 10.09.2014 - Specimens of the nominate subspecies are less colourful compared to subspecies castiliana.
Iberolacerta cyreni
Subsp. castiliana: E / Sierra de Gredos (Ávila), 25.09.2010 - A male, displaying in front of the photographer.
Iberolacerta cyreni
Subsp. castiliana: E / Sierra de Gredos (Ávila), 25.09.2010 - some specimens show green-reddish iridescence.
Iberolacerta cyreni
The surroundings of Laguna Grande de Gredos (Ávila / Spain) are ruled by Ibex (Capra pyrenaica) and Iberolacerta cyreni.