Podarcis bocagei - Bocage's Wall Lizard

Podarcis bocagei
Male: E / Parque Natural Lago de Sanabria (Zamora), 03.09.2011: Note the greenish back and the light dorsolateral stripes.

Podarcis bocagei lives in the same area as its closest relative, Podarcis guadarramae - but Bocage's Wall Lizard has occupied another ecological niche: it is more ground-dwelling as the latter one and more tolerant to cool climate. Instead of living on rocks, it can frequently be found in dune areas at the Atlantic coast or on meadows. A perfect example for species differentiation.


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
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 - Males of this species often show yellow undersides.
Podarcis bocagei
View north from Puerto de Vizcodillo (E / León): These lonely valleys in north-western Iberia are habitat for Podarcis bocagei and Lacerta schreiberi.