Podarcis milensis - Milos Wall Lizard

Podarcis milensis
Male: GR / Milos, 17.04.2018 - Black flanks with blue dots make these lizards unmistakable.

A legendary species: The endemic Milos Wall Lizard is one of the most beautiful European Lacertids. Although being closely related to the Skyros Wall Lizard, it looks quite different - with the males showing black colours with blue dots. Maybe the volcanic substrate in its habitat has supported the development of this colouration. Anyway, it's remarkable how these lizards resemble to some colour morphs of the - not closely related - Maltese Wall Lizard. Howbeit, the Milos Wall Lizards (and some more Milos endemics) have attracted generations of fieldherpers.

The following subspecies have been recognized:

  • The nominate subspecies lives on Milos, Kimolos, Polyaigos and Antimilos.
  • Subspecies adolfjordansi can be found on Ananes Archipelago.
  • Subspecies gerakuniae occurs on Falkonera and Velopoula.

This species has no strict habitat preferences: It can frequently be observed in good numbers in rocky areas, on sandy beaches and even on dry-stone walls near human settlements.

 

As it is the only small Lacertid in its range, it cannot be confused with other species. Lacerta trilineata, which also occurs on Milos, is much bigger; juveniles show the characteristic three light lines on the back.

Podarcis milensis
The distribution range of Podarcis milensis is limited to some Western Aegean islands.

Podarcis milensis
Male: GR / Milos, 15.04.2018 - Note the characteristic brown back.
Podarcis milensis
Female: GR / Milos, 15.04.2018 - Females sometimes show a light blue throat.
Male: GR / Milos, 17.04.2018 - Some males show yellow colours.
Male: GR / Milos, 17.04.2018 - Some males show yellow colours.
Podarcis milensis
Female: GR / Milos, 15.04.2018 - This extraordinary specimen shows bright yellow colours.
Podarcis milensis
The volcanic island of Milos - home of Podarcis milensis.