Erhard's wall lizard

Erhard's wall lizard (Podarcis erhardii ), also called the Aegean wall lizard, is a species of lizard in the family Lacertidae. The species is endemic to Southeast Europe.

Erhard's wall lizard
Podarcis erhardii on Santorini.jpg
Photographed on Santorini
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Lacertidae
Genus: Podarcis
P. erhardii
Binomial name
Podarcis erhardii
(Bedriaga, 1882)
  • Lacerta muralis fusca var. erhardii
    Bedriaga, 1882
  • Podarcis erhardi
    Engelmann et al., 1993
  • Podarcis erhardii
    Kroniger & Zawadzki, 2005


The specific name, erhardii, is in honor of a certain Dr. D. Erhard (first name unknown), a German naturalist, who was the author of Fauna der Cycladen (1858).[3]

Geographic rangeEdit

P. erhardii is found in the Balkan peninsula and the Aegean islands. On the mainland it ranges from Albania, North Macedonia and southern Bulgaria to the northeastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece. In the Aegean archipelago it does not occur in Milos or the surrounding islands, where it is replaced by the Milos wall lizard.


Male Erhard's wall lizard with net-like patterning
Erhard's wall lizard on Santorini
Erhard's wall lizard in Parnitha

The length of the lizard's body of P. erhardii is about 7 cm (2.8 in), and the tail is twice as long. The head is rather wide, and the skin is smooth. The colour and patterning of this species vary a lot. The main colour is typically grey or brown, sometimes green. Females particularly are often striped. On the edges of the back two white stripes border two dark stripes or spotty lines. In the middle of the back may be a dark line. Some males have net-like patterning, where longitudinal and transverse lines and spots mix. The belly and often throat are white, yellow, orange or red, and in the Aegean Islands also green, blue or grey. The belly is never spotty, but sometimes there are blue spots on the hind legs.


Erhard's wall lizard lives in dry or rocky places with dense, low bushes. It climbs very well. The lizard populations in the Aegean archipelago inhabit open places, like plant-covered dunes, as well.


Erhard's wall lizard eats arthropods, especially insects.


P. erhardii mates in spring, and lays eggs at the beginning of the summer. The young lizards hatch in September, then measuring 3 cm (1.2 in).


P. erhardii chooses backgrounds that match their colour to enhance camouflage against avian predators in their natural habitat.[4]


Although 28 subspecies of P. erhardii have been described and considered valid, Sindaco & Jeremcenko (2008) consider only four subspecies to be valid, including the nominotypical subspecies.[2]

Nota bene: A trinomial authority in parentheses indicates that the subspecies was originally described in a genus other than Podarcis.


  1. ^ Petros Lymberakis, Jelka Crnobrnja Isailovic, Rastko Ajtic, Milan Vogrin, Wolfgang Böhme (2009). "Podarcis erhardii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2009: e.T61546A12512784. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009.RLTS.T61546A12512784.en. Retrieved 13 November 2021.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b "Podarcis erhardii ". The Reptile Database.
  3. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Podarcis erhardii, p. 85).
  4. ^ Marshall, Kate L. A.; Philpot, Kate E.; Stevens, Martin (2016-01-25). "Microhabitat choice in island lizards enhances camouflage against avian predators". Scientific Reports. 6 (1): 19815. doi:10.1038/srep19815. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 4726299. PMID 26804463.

Further readingEdit

  • Arnold EN, Burton JA (1978). A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Britain and Europe. London: Collins 272 pp. + Plates 1-40. ISBN 0-00-219318-3. (Podarcis erhardii, p. 171 + Plate 31 + Map 90).
  • Bedriaga J (1882). "Die Amphibien und Reptilien Griechenlands ". Bulletin de la Société impériale des naturalistes de Moscou 56 (2): 43-103. (Lacerta muralis fusca var. erhardii, new variation, p. 99). (in German).
  • Čihař, Jiří (1994). Amphibians and Reptiles: A Magna Field Guide. Wigston, England: Magna Books. 192 pp. ISBN 1-85422-788-2.
  • Sindaco, Roberto; Jeremcenko, Valery K. (2008). The Reptiles of the Western Palearctic, Volume I: Annotated Checklist and Distributional Atlas of the Turtles, Crocodiles, Amphisbaenians and Lizards of Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia. Latina, Italy: Edizioni Belvedere. 579 pp. ISBN 978-8889504147.

External linksEdit