Wildlife in Italy: Aeolian lizard

Wildlife in Italy: Aeolian lizard

Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Reptiles
Order: Squamata
suborders: Sauri
Family: lizards
Kind: Podarcis
Species: P. raffoneae
Synonym: Lacerta raffonei

The Aeolian lizard (Podarcis raffoneae) is widespread in the homonymous islands. It prefers arid sunny environments, dry stone walls, ravines, forest clearings. It is preyed on by mammals, birds of prey, snakes. When captured, it implements the autotomy strategy: it contracts the muscles to detach the tail to escape the predator, over time the tail will grow back.

Distinctive characters

It resembles the Sicilian lizard and, like her, reaches the maximum length of 25 cm including the tail. The difference lies in the coloring which is a darker green in the Aeolian lizard, sometimes with dark spots also in the ventral region of the body, in particular in the lower part of the neck.


It feeds on insects, larvae, caterpillars. It can supplement the diet with fruit and berries. The female lays 5-9 eggs in a crevice or hole dug in the ground and does not provide parental care to newborns, who are already autonomous at birth.

Aeolian lizard - Podarcis raffoneae (photo Jan van der Voort

Aeolian lizard - Podarcis raffoneae (photo Daniel Bohle

curated by Ivana Stella

Video: Largest Lizard on Earth. The Komodo Dragon. Deadly 60. Indonesia. Series 3. BBC (January 2022).