Iberolacerta martinezricai - Peña de Francia Rock Lizard

Iberolacerta martinezricai
Male: E Peña de Francia, 24.06.2022

The Peña de Francia Rock Lizard has a serious problem: As a mountain lizard, it lives on a mountain range, which isn't really high (The Peña de Francia rises to 1700 m). If it's cold and cloudy up there, the lizards wont be out, of course. But if the sun shines, it will quickly get too warm for these mountain dwellers, so they wont leave their hideouts neither. In consequence, they have to live quite secretive - and will presumably further suffer from climate warming.

In consequence, Iberolacerta martinezricai is regarded as one of Europe's rarest species (But due to their secretive behavior, no one actually knows how many indivividuals do exist).


Males of this species can show beautiful green colours - similar to Iberolacerta monticola and Iberolacerta galani.


Within its distribution area, this species co-occurs with Podarcis guadarramae. In females and juveniles of Iberolacerta martinezricai, the characteristic alternately broad and narrow tail segments can help for identification. Furthermore, Iberolacerta martinezricai shows blue ocelli which already are apparent in juveniles.


In its habitat, also Timon lepidus and Lacerta schreiberi can be found. However, these species can hardly be confused with Iberolacerta martinezricai.

Iberolacerta martinezricai
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 martinezricai
Male: E / Peña de Francia, 24.06.2022
Iberolacerta martinezricai
Young male: E / Peña de Francia, 24.06.2022
Iberolacerta martinezricai
Female: E / Peña de Francia, 24.06.2022: Note the blue spot on shoulder which allows distinction from Podarcis guadarramae.
Iberolacerta martinezricai
Juvenile: E / Peña de Francia, 27.09.2010 - Note the slightly bluish ocelli which are already visible in this juvenile.
Iberolacerta monticola
View from the peak of Peña de Francia (Salamanca) south - Habitat of Iberolacerta martinezricai.