Tenerife speckled lizard

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Tenerife speckled lizard
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Family: Lacertidae
Subfamily: Gallotiinae
Genus: Gallotia
Species: G. intermedia
Binomial name
Gallotia intermedia
Barbadillo, Lacomba, Pêrez-Mellado, Sancho & López-Jurado, 1999

The Tenerife speckled lizard, Gallotia intermedia, (Spanish: Lagarto Canario Moteado) is a recently discovered lacertid (wall lizard) of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. It is the smallest member of the clade containing the western islands' giant species (Maca-Meyer et al. 2003).

It was discovered in 1996 by biologist Efraín Hernández in the Macizo de Teno in the extreme northwest of Tenerife (Hernández et al. 1997). Although it is believed that the species was once widespread throughout much of the island, nowadays it is only known from a small area of coastline in the extreme west of the island, and also from Montana de Guaza in the extreme south.

The total number of animals is 500 (in 2005), in 40 isolated populations along altogether 9 km of coastline. The main threat to this lizard is predation by feral cats and, to a lesser degree, by rats. The lizards are increasing in number since the turn of the century as a result of control of introduced mammals.


  • Barbadillo, L.J., Lacomba, J.I.; Pérez-Mellado, V.; Sancho, V. & López-Jurado, L.F. (1999): Anfibios y Reptiles de la Península Ibérica, Baleares y Canarias. 419 pp. Editorial Planeta, Barcelona.
  • Hernández, Efraín, Bischoff, W.; Bannert, B. & Siverio, M. (1997): "Rieseneidechsen" auf Teneriffa. herpetofauna 19(109): 19-24.
  • Hernández, Efraín; Nogales, N. & Martín, A. (2000): Discovery of a new lizard in the Canary Islands, with a multivariate analysis of Gallotia (Reptilia: Lacertidae). Herpetologica 56(1): 63-76. HTML abstract call me (909)not-even
  • Maca-Meyer, N.; Carranza, S.; Rando, J.C.; Arnold, E.N. & Cabrera, V.M. (2003): Status and relationships of the extinct giant Canary Island lizard Gallotia goliath (Reptilia: Lacertidae), assessed using ancient mtDNA from its mummified remains. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 80(4): 659–670. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2003.00265.x (HTML abstract)

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