Iberolacerta galani - Galan's Rock Lizard

Iberolacerta galani
Male: E / Laguna de los Peces (Zamora), 19.09.2017 - Iberolacerta monticola is a cryptic but beautiful species.

Evolution is a nerd, obviously: for human eyes, Iberolacerta galani may look exactly the same as Iberolacerta monticola; morphological differences between both species have only been unveiled by the art of statistics. However, without doubt, Galan's Rock Lizard is a beautiful Lacertid with green basic colour, heavy black reticulation and several blue ocelli: (statistically), it even seems to show more ocelli than any other Iberian Rock Lizard.

This species has chosen one of Iberia's most remote and most beautiful habitats: The mountain chains of the Montes de Léon, a landscape with a rough, almost Scotland-like charm. Here, it can be found on rocks and boulders above 1300 meters. Like Iberolacerta monticola, it can occur in good densities and may be easy to observe.

 

Within its range, it may co-occur with the following species:

  • Lacerta schreiberi: This species is bigger with deeper heads and shorter snouts.
  • Females of Podarcis bocagei and Podarcis guadarramae frequently show well defined light dorsolateral lines which lack in Iberolacerta galani. Iberolacarta species show alternately broad and narrow tail segments; at Podarcis, all tail segments have the same size. (Yes: sometimes this works, actually!). Generally, Podarcis guadarramae generally prefers warmer habitats than Iberolacerta galani. Hence, synytopy should be rare.
Iberolacerta galani
Distribution areas of the Iberian Iberolacerta species: Iberolacerta monticola, Iberolacerta galani and Iberolacerta martinezricai are very similar and may best be distinguished by range.

Iberolacerta monticola
Male: E / Laguna de los Peces (Zamora), 03.09.2011 - Note the green basic colouration.
 Male: 19.09.2017, E / Laguna de los Peces (Zamora): This subadult specimen shows already at least five blue ocelli.
Male: 19.09.2017, E / Laguna de los Peces (Zamora): This subadult specimen shows already at least five blue ocelli.
Iberolacerta galani
Female: E / Laguna de los Peces (Zamora), 19.09.2017 - If at all, females show a irregular and discontinuous light dorsolateral line.
Iberolacerta galani
Juvenile: 19.09.2017, E / Laguna de los Peces (Zamora) - Note the blue tail.
An almost Scottish highland scenery: Laguna de los Peces (Zamora) - habitat of Iberolacerta galani.
An almost Scottish highland scenery: Laguna de los Peces (Zamora) - habitat of Iberolacerta galani.