Iberolacerta horvathi - Horvath's Rock Lizard

Iberolacerta horvathi
Adult: AU / Carinthia, 17.07.2010 - Like other Iberolacertas, Horvath's Rock Lizard may be quite approachable.

Horvath's Rock Lizard populates an isolated range in the South-Eastern Alps / Northern Dinaric Mountains. The fact that its closest relatives are the Pyrenean Rock Lizard species is noteworthy: It may indicate that the genus Iberolacerta had been more widespread in the past but is currently pushed to some local refugia.

Although Iberolacerta horvathi lives in montane habitats up to 2000 meters in south of its range, it may not be regarded as a high altitude species. This also suggests that Iberolacerta species may not be generally restricted to high-altitude mountain habitats, unless they are forced by competitive pressure (e.g. by Podarcis species which have benefited from the current postglacial warm climate.

 

Within its distribution area, Iberolacerta horvathi co-occurs with the following species:

  • Podarcis muralis frequently shows a spotted or orange throat whereas Iberolacerta horvathi has a white unspotted throat. The latter one can be identified by the characteristic tail segments, which are alternately broad and narrow and it has a more pointed snout than Podarcis muralis.
  • Zootoca vivipara has a shorter snout and a less elongated body the Iberolacerta horvathi.
Iberolacerta horvathi
The distribution range of Iberolacerta horvathi covers areas in Austria, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.

Iberolacerta horvathi
I / Fusine, 14.07.2010 - Note the greenish back and dark brown flanks.
Iberolacerta horvathi
Juvenile: SLO / Predil, 09.07.2010 - Note the sightly greenish tail.
Iberolacerta horvathi
The Lago di Fusine (Italy): Habitat of Iberolacerta horvathi and Zootoca vivipara.