Bedriaga's Rock Lizard
|Bedriaga's rock lizard|
Lacerta bedriagae Camerano, 1885
The Bedriaga's rock lizard, Archaeolacerta bedriagae, is a species of lizard in the Lacertidae family. It is monotypic within the genus Archaeolacerta. It is only found on the islands Corsica (A.b. bedriagae) and Sardinia (A.b.sardus). The name Lacerta bedriaga is also used. Its natural habitats are temperate forests, temperate shrubland, Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, rivers, rocky areas, pastureland, and rural gardens. It is threatened by habitat loss.
Adults outside the mating season are brownish-grey with a dark, fine-lined net pattern on their backs. The female is browner than the male, and the male in mating season acquires a blue belly, blue loins and blue dots on the flank. The netlike pattern seems to turn into a pattern of white dots. Juveniles are discernible by their bright azure blue tails. The adult males can grow up to 30 cm. Most specimen do not get longer than 25 cm.
Bedriaga's rock lizards climb vertical rocks, cliffs, walls and ruins. The species is found in mountainous regions, mostly between 600 and 1000 m above sea level, but it is also found found along the coast, sunbathing near small streams. When frightened, the lizards sometimes try to escape in the water; itthey are good swimmer. Their diets consist of insects and other small invertebrates. Peculiar to this lizard, it jumps off the ground often to catch flying insects. Most other Lacertidae cannot make high jumps to catch their prey.
This rare species is protected by CITES.
- Corti, C. & Cheylan, M. 2005. Archaeolacerta bedriagae. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 28 July 2007.
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