Podarcis bocagei - Bocage's Wall Lizard

Podarcis bocagei
Male: E / Montes de León, 06.09.2019 - Adult males show greenish backs but no green on flanks.

Podarcis bocagei lives in the same area as its closest relative, Podarcis guadarramae - but Bocage's Wall Lizard has occupied another ecological niche: It survives in areas which are too cold for other Wall Lizards (dune areas at the Atlantic coast or mountain meadows). It is more ground dwelling than other Iberian Podarcis species but climbs on dry stone walls occasionally for basking.

 

Podarcis bocagei occurs in north-western Iberia from the Cantabrian Mountains and Galicia to Portugal (to the Duoro River).

Bocage's Wall Lizard may co-occur with the following species:

  • Podarcis guadarramae has a more slender body and a more pointed snout. Podarcis bocagei - but not Podarcis guadarramae -  shows continuous light dorsolateral lines both in males and females.
  • At the Portugese Atlantic coast the ranges of Podarcis bocagei and Podarcis carbonelli overlap. Podarcis carbonelli has blue outer ventral scales and greenish flanks. Podarcis bocagei has no blue outer ventral scales and shows green backs, but no green flanks.
  • Podarcis bocagei can be distinguished from Podarcis muralis as it has no blue outer ventral scales and – also in males – shows a continuous light dorsolateral line. Females have a dark supra-dorsolateral line which is generally absent in female Podarcis muralis.
Distribution Podarcis hispanicus
The (approximate) distribution area of Podarcis bocagei covers the north-western part of the Iberian Peninsula.

Podarcis bocagei
Male: E / Montes de León, 06.09.2019 - This rather dark specimen shows the characteristic yellow under side.
Podarcis bocagei
Male: E / Montes de León, 06.09.2019 - Unlike Podarcis carbonelli, Podarcis bocagei shows no blue outer ventral scales.
Podarcis bocagei
Female: E / Montes de León, 06.09.2019 - A female with contrasting pattern.
Podarcis bocagei
Female: E / Parque Natural Lago de Sanabria (Zamora), 19.09.2017: Note the characteristic dark supra-dorsolateral stripe.
Podarcis bocagei
Male: E / Parque Natural Lago de Sanabria (Zamora), 03.09.2011: A male with whitish (instead of yellow) underside.
Podarcis bocagei
The Montes de León - home of Podarcis bocagei, Iberolacerta galani and Lacerta schreiberi.