A ground-dwelling species, the Ibiza wall lizard (Podarcis pityusensis) is endemic to the Balearic Islands of the coast of Spain (4). Belonging to the Lacertidae family, a group of species which includes the sand and wall lizards (5), the Ibiza wall lizard is considered to be an excellent example of small-scale island evolution, with many different subspecies scattered on a number of isolated islands (6).
Like other species in the Lacertidae family, the Ibiza wall lizard has a conical-shaped head and a pointed snout (5) (7). The neck is usually slightly wider than the head (7). The body is long and fairly robust, with well-developed limbs and a long, fragile tail. The eyes are large and have moveable eyelids. The tongue of the Ibiza wall lizard is long and narrow, with a prominent forked tip covered in small projections or folds. The scales of lacertid lizards tend to be enlarged and arranged symmetrically on the head, with small, often granular scales on the back and large, rectangular scales on the body. The scales on the tail are keeled (7), and are usually arranged in spirals (5).
The male Ibiza wall lizard is typically larger and longer than the female. Additionally, the male tends to have slightly different colouration to the female (7).
As many as 35 subspecies of the Ibiza wall lizard have been described, but the taxonomy of this species remains unclear and the actual number is probably far fewer (6) (8). There is a great deal of variation between the different subspecies, ranging from smaller forms with short legs and heads, to large, robust forms with wide-set legs. Similarly, colour is highly variable between subspecies, with the upperparts ranging from green-brown to black, grey, bright green, yellowish-green or blue. The underparts, sides, legs and tail also differ greatly in colouration. Melanistic individuals have also been recorded (7).
- Lézard Des Pityuses.
- Lagartija de las Pitiusas.
- Length: 6 - 9 cm (2)