Podarcis tiliguerta - Tyrrhenian Wall Lizard

Podarcis tiliguerta
Male: F / Bonifacio (Corsica), 12.09.2013 - Note the bright green colours and dark reticulation.

The Tyrrhenian Wall Lizard is an endemic species of Corsica, Sardinia and surrounding islets. It is closely related to Podarcis lilfordi and Podarcis pityusensis from the Balearics. This adaptable species inhabits a wide variety of habitats - from the coast line up to the peak areas of the Haute-Asco mountains on Corsica.

For Podarcis tiliguerta, 10 subspecies have been described for satellite islets of Sardinia, although these may be invalid. The populations from Corsica and Sardinia so far have been referred to the nominate subspecies. Anyhow, recent genetic analysis indicates that the lizards from Corsica and Sardinia could be two different species*.

 

The Thyrrenian Wall Lizard shows a large variety in pattern and colouration, as the pictures on this page illustrate. However, it can hardly be confused with other lizards of that area.

 

Podarcis siculus, which also occurs on Corsica and Sardinia, is considerably bigger. It has usually unspotted throats and the green colouration of the back ends at the hind legs. In contrast to this, Podarcis tiliguerta frequently has dark spots on the throats and the green colour of the back - if present - is continued on the tail.

Podarcis tiliguerta
The distribution range of Podarcis tiliguerta covers Corsica, Sardinia and several satellite islets. Recent genetic analysis indicates that the populations of Corsica and Sardinia could be seperate species.

Podarcis tiliguerta
Female: F / Vizzavona (Corsica), 08.09.2013 - Females frequently show light dorsolateral lines and a dark vertebral stripe.
Podarcis tiliguerta
Male: F / Restonica (Corsica), 09.09.2013 - A brownish male with blue dots on flanks.
Podarcis tiliguerta
Male: F / Haut-Asco (Corsica), 08.09.2013 - This specimen is quite rich in contrast.
Podarcis tiliguerta
Mountain habitat of Podarcis tiliguerta and Archaeolacerta bedriagae (Vizzavona / Corsica).

* SALVI, D. & PINHO, C. & HARRIS, D.J. (2017) - Digging up the roots of an insular hotspot of genetic diversity: decoupled mito-nuclear histories in the evolution of the Corsican-Sardinian endemic lizard Podarcis tiliguerta. - BMC Evolutionary Biology, 17: 63. 22 pp.