The Ibiza Lizard

Darting out of a wall to catch the sun

Over 2,000 years ago Formentera was recorded as the island of reptiles by Greek geographer Strabo, and today the lizard remains its symbol. The only lizard native to the island is Podarcis pityusensis, a species of lizard in the Lacertidae family, which is commonly known as the Ibiza Wall Lizard, the Pitiusan lizard, Ibiza lizard, or sargantana.

The lizard is chubbier in certain parts of the island.

There over thirty different sub-species, including P. pityusensis formenterae, and you will notice different features on the lizards depending which part of the island they are from. For example, the lizards of La Mola are large and blue-green, whereas the lizards of Can Marroig are thinner and brown-grey. The islets around the Balearics also have separate sub-species of the lizard, for example, the blue lizard of Murada Island, and the bright green ones of S’Espartar.

You need to look carefully, but in this video you can just see a lizard popping his head to look at a caterpillar running away:

The lizards live between the rocks that make up the farmland walls, in any sort of plantations or shrubland, and along rocky shores. They can also be found dwelling in arable land and urban areas. The males are slightly larger than the females, and the Ibiza lizard feeds on insects and plants.

Spain’s Ministry for the Environment monitors all the populations of the lizard on the 70 small islands around Ibiza and Formentera. Some species have already become extinct as a result of mixing (P.p. miguelensis, P.p. subformenterae, P.p. algae, P.p. sabinae and P.p. grueni), and this along with human encroachment is a pressure on population growth.

Two further types of geckos have been identified on the island (Tarentola mauritanica and Hemidactylus turcicus), but these were introduced by man.

They pop up from every crevice.


2 Responses to “The Ibiza Lizard”
  1. snake care says:

    I love the images on this post

  2. mak says:

    The lizard described as “chubbier” is in fact deliberately flattening itself to expose a greater surface area to the sun so it will warm up faster and thence be more actve and able to avoid predators.

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