Podarcis guadarramae - Guadarrama Wall Lizard

Podarcis guadarramae
Subsp. guadarramae, male: E / La Alberca (Salamanca), 17.09.2017 - Note the broad, dark lines on the back of this male.

The Guadarrama Wall Lizard is specialized on the granite rock substrates of central and north-western Iberia. No granite rocks - no Podarcis guadarramae! These lizards even occur in rocky habitats with hardly any vegetation. Some populations have flat heads and strongly elongated snouts which allow them to hunt for insects in small crevices. In these cases, they resemble to rock specialists like Archaeolacerta bedriagae. This demonstrates the high morphologic plasticity of the genus Podarcis.

The nominate subspecies occurs in the Sistema Central – from Sierra de Peña de Francia (Salamanca) in the west to the Sierra del Alto Rey (Guadalajara) in the east.

 

Besides of the nominate subspecies, another subspecies - Podarcis guadarramae lusitanicus - has been described. It occurs from the Cantabrian Mountains over Galicia and Northern Portugal to the Serra da Estrela in the South. Genetic analysis indicates that subsp. lusitanicus even could be regarded as a separate species. However, the transition zone between the two morphs in the Salamanca area is poorly known.

Podarcis guadarramae differs from all neighbouring Iberian Podarcis species by its flattened head and elongated snout. It has contact zones or overlapping ranges with the following species:

Distribution Podarcis guadarramae
Distribution area of Podarcis guadarramae - For a complete overview of the Iberian Podarcis species see map at Podarcis hispanicus.

Podarcis guadarramae may also co-occur with Podarcis muralis (e.g. Sierra de Guadarrama / Madrid). The latter one is much bigger than Podarcis guadarramae and frequently shows blue outer ventral scales and orange throats.

Podarcis guadarramae
Subsp. guadarramae, female: E / Miraflores de la Sierra (Madrid), 23.09.2017 - females may show a distinct stripe pattern.
Podarcis guadarramae
Subsp. lusitanicus, male: E / Lago de Sanabria (Zamora), 05.09.2019 - In some populations, these lizards have strongly elongated, pointed snouts.
Podarcis guadarramae
Subsp. lusitanicus, male: E / Lago de Sanabria (Zamora), 19.09.2017 - Note the heavy dark reticulation.
Podarcis guadarramae
Subsp. lusitanicus, female: E / Lago de Sanabria (Zamora), 19.09.2017 - Females frequently show a stripe pattern.
Podarcis guadarramae
Subsp. lusitanicus, "Liébana-population": E / Lebeña (Cantabria), 08.09.2019 - Specimen of this isolated population show a rather fine pattern.
Podarcis guadarramae
Subsp. lusitanicus, "Liébana-population": E / Lebeña (Cantabria), 08.09.2019 - A specimen with very reduced dark pattern.
The peak area of Monte Pindo (Galicia): This mountain at the north-western edge of the Iberian Peninsula is home for Podarcis guadarramae ssp. lusitanicus, Podarcis bocagei, Lacerta schreiberi, Timon lepidus and Iberolacerta monticola.
The peak area of Monte Pindo (Galicia): This mountain at the north-western edge of the Iberian Peninsula is home for Podarcis guadarramae ssp. lusitanicus, Podarcis bocagei, Lacerta schreiberi, Timon lepidus and Iberolacerta monticola.