Podarcis virescens - Geniez's Wall Lizard

Podarcis virescens
Male displaying its yellow-orange underside and blue outer ventral scales: P / Monchique (Algarve), 17.04.2017

Podarcis virescens is another "generalist" in the Podarcis hispanicus group. In the Sierra de Cazorla (Jaén) it inhabits rocky mountain areas but it was also able to populate the endless agricultural plains of Castilla-La Mancha where it can be found on bridges or buildings - A quite successful species, regarding its wide distribution area from the Portuguese Atlantic Coast to the Baetic System.

Geniez' Wall Lizard is a little beauty with males having yellow undersides, prominent blue outer ventral scales and a greenish glance on the back. It can be distinguished from its neighbouring species by the following characters:

  • Podarcis carbonelli is smaller, has a shorter snout and frequently shows green flanks but not green backs.
  • Podarcis guadarramae has no blue outer ventral scales and no yellow undersides.
  • Podarcis liolepis has no yellow underside of the tale and in its southern populations, it frequently shows a dark vertebral line which lacks at Podarcis virescens.
  • Podarcis hispanicus often shows a distinct stripe pattern and has no blue outer ventral scales.
  • Distinguishing between Podarcis vaucheri and Podarcis virescens may be challenging. Note that the contact zone between those two species is poorly known.
Distribution Podarcis virescens
The distribution area of Podarcis virescens adjoins five other Iberian Wall Lizard species.

Podarcis virescens
Female with yellow underside: P / Sines (Alentejo), 19.04.2017
Podarcis virescens
Male: P / Monchique (Algarve), 16.04.2017 - Note the greenish back and the absence of a vertebral line.
Podarcis virescens
Female: E / Sierra de Cazorla, 30.10.2017 - Females may show continuous light dorsolateral lines or rows of light dots, instead.
Podarcis virescens
Habitat of Podarcis virescens and Algyroides marchi: E / Sierra de Cazorla, 30.10.2017