Podarcis melisellensis - Dalmatian Wall Lizard

Podarcis melisellensis
Subsp. fiumanus, male: MNE / Virpazar, 9.7.2015 - Some specimens show bright orange throats.

Podarcis melisellensis has been named after "Melisello" - the former name of Brusnik, a small islet in the Croatian Vis Archipelago -, as the initial description of this species referred to this islet's lizards.


Actually, the Dalmatian Wall Lizard can be found along the Adriatic Coast and numerous islands from north-eastern Italy (Triest area) to northern Albania.

Podarcis melisellensis lives on karstified rocks as well as on meadows or scrubs and, in the southern part of its range, even in forests.

The nominate subspecies lives on Vis Archipelago whereas all other populations are currently referred to subspecies fiumanus.


It may co-occur with the following species:

  • This species is very variable in pattern and colouration and can be very similar to Podarcis siculus sometimes. The latter one is bigger and has a massive head with a pointed snout.
  • Podarcis muralis differs from Podarcis melisellensis by the dark spots on the throat and the dark lateral stripe.
  • A possible co-occurence of Podarcis melisellensis with the closely related Podarcis tauricus in Northern Albania hasn't been confirmed, so far.
Podarcis melisellensis
The distribution area of Podarcis melisellensis.

Podarcis melisellensis
Subsp. fiumanus, subadult: Montenegro / Ulcinj, 28.07.2012 - This species may resemble to Podarcis siculus but is significantly smaller.
Podarcis melisellensis
The shores of Skutari Lake (Montenegro): Habitat of Podarcis melisellensis, Lacerta trilineata and Dalmatolacerta oxycephala.